Ben’s doctoral research focuses on ecosystem functioning and resilience in a changing world.
More specifically, his current research centres on the ways in which ecosystems decline en route to collapse, with a particular emphasis on the impacts of issues like fragmentation and extreme events (e.g., severe droughts, floods, fires, etc). A core component of this research is therefore the examination of how variations in ecosystem composition and structure relate to variations in ecosystem functioning. In terms of approach, his research draws on the ever-growing wealth of available satellite remote sensing data, as well as ground-based information. Its main focus is on sites across Tanzania, a country that harbours remarkable biodiversity but is undergoing rapid changes in land use and climate. In all, the central aim of this research is to enhance our understanding of the ways in which ecosystems decline en route to collapse in order to, hopefully, enable us to manage them more effectively.
Ben straddles the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London. He is supervised by Professor Pettorelli and Professor Durant from the former and Professor Tobias from the latter. He is supported by the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP) of the Grantham Institute.
In terms of wider experience and interests, Ben has had the pleasure of working on a range of topics with clear management and policy implications for conservation. He has worked, for instance, with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to examine the attitudes and perspectives of communities and rangers towards conservation activities, with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) of the University of Oxford on park-people relations and wildlife trade, and with the United Nations on high-value, transnational illegal wildlife trade. He maintains a rich and diverse interest in the ways in which we can better manage the natural world for both people and nature, and is always eager to contribute towards the development of effective management and policy.
- 2023–Present: PhD Researcher, ZSL Institute of Zoology and Imperial College London
- 2022–2023: PGCert, International Affairs, King's College London
- 2019-2020: MSc, Biodiversity, Conservation & Management, University of Oxford: Distinction
- 2016–2019: BA Biological Sciences, University of Oxford: First Class Honours
- 2022 (6 months): Contractor, United Nations. Refined and analysed IWT databases (c.300,000 records for >90 countries), usually using R and Python, as well as produced, and contributed to, reports on terrestrial and marine environmental crimes.
- 2021 (7 months) and 2022 (2 months): Consultant, WWF. Conducted several research projects on ranger and community experiences and perceptions. The projects drew on surveys from nearly 500 sites in 28 countries, and involved the use of R and ArcGIS.
- 2021-2022 (6 months): Programme Coordinator, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. Developed content, organised meetings and events, and managed the website for the wildlife trade programme, as well as conducted research on collaboration on wildlife trade issues (focus group data).
Parker, B.G., Jacobsen, K.S., Vucetich, J.A., Dickman, A.J., Loveridge, A.J. & Macdonald, D.W. 2022. Towards equitable conservation: social capital, fear, and livestock loss shape perceived benefit from a protected area. J. Environ Manage.
Parker, B.G., Singh, R., Hoffmann, M., Avino, F.S., Gajardo, O.B., Moreto, W., McVey, D., Belecky, M. 2022. Exploring the perceptions and experiences of local versus non-local rangers: insights from across 11 countries. Front. Conserv. Sci.
Parker, B.G., Soe, P., Myint, M.N.N., Shwe, N.M., Singh, R., Wyatt, A., Moreto, W., Belecky, M. 2022. Exploring community satisfaction in park management: insights from protected areas in Myanmar. PARKS.
Parker, B.G., Khanyari, M., Ambarlı, H., Buuveibaatar, B., Kabir, M., Khanal, G., Mirzadeh, H.R., Onon, Y. Farhadinia, M.S. 2023. A review of the ecological and socioeconomic characteristics of trophy hunting across Asia. Anim. Conserv.
Parker, B.G., Hoffmann, M., Singh, R., McVey, D., Ruiz, L. 2022. Governance type bias in global ranger survey. PARKS.
- Contributing author on the UKOTCF memorandum to the UK Parliament inquiry on the status of the UKOTs in the 21st century (2023).
- Contributing author on the following report from the United Nations: UNODC, 2022. Analysis of CITES Annual Illegal Trade Reports: 2016 to 2020 seizure data. CITES Secretariat. https://cites.org/sites/default/files/EST/AITR/AITR_Analysis_2022.pdf.
- Author of the following books (all in press)
- Wildlife & us: the lives & legacies of English wildlife
- Wildlife & us: the lives & legacies of Scottish wildlife
- Biodiversity of the British Overseas Territories: a pocketbook.