Postgraduate Research Assistant
Global Biodiversity Monitoring
Indicators and assessments
Extinction risk
Contact details

Institute of Zoology
Zoological Society of London
United Kingdom

Google Scholar

By developing predictive ecological models to understand the complexity of the challenge ahead, we are driving forward towards a world where wildlife thrives. 

To recover restore wildlife, we first need to understand where it most needs our help. Sophie's research projects on monitoring global biodiversity and evaluating underrepresented species’ extinction risks generate the evidence basis from which we can explore trends and patterns in threat and recovery processes, and in doing so, best inform conservation actions and policy decisions.

Wildlife comeback launch 2022
© Phil Mynott 2022

Read more about global biodiversity monitoring

Zoo lates
© Sophie Ledger
Professional history

2021-present: PGRA, Institute of Zoology (IoZ), managing Red List (global, sampled and national) research projects
2020-2021: Living Planet Report Fellow, IoZ
2018-2020: Conservation Programme Manager and country engagement lead for Angola, Stop Ivory and the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation (EPIF)
2017-2018: Researcher, Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew and Administration and Project Assistant, Stop Ivory
2016-2017: PGRA, ZSL, IoZ, Sampled Red List and National Red List Projects
2014-2016: Digitisation officer, Core Research Laboratories, Natural History Museum, London (NHM); Researcher, NHM, University of Cambridge and Tokyo Institute of Technology; Research assistant, Systematics of Euptychiina Project, NHM and University of Florida
2013-2014: Volunteer curatorial assistant in the Lepidoptera collections, NHM
2012-2013: Volunteer Research assistant at ZSL, IOZ, Sampled Red List and National Red List Projects
2009-2011: Field ecologist, Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) and MbyRes in Wildlife Disease Management, University of Exeter
2008-2009: MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity, University of Exeter
2004-2007: BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Bristol


Ledger, S.E.H., Loh, J., Almond, R. et al. Past, present, and future of the Living Planet Index. npj biodivers 2, 12 (2023). 

Ledger, S.E.H., Rutherford, C.A., Benham, C., Burfield, I.J., Deinet, S., Eaton, M., Freeman, R., Gray C., Herrando, S., Puleston, H., Scott-Gatty, K., Staneva, A. and McRae, L. Wildlife Comeback in Europe: Opportunities and challenges for species recovery. Final report to Rewilding Europe by the Zoological Society of London, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council. (ZSL/Rewilding Europe London, UK, 2022).

Marconi, V., McRae, L., Deinet, S., Ledger, S., and Freeman, F. (2020). Bending the curve of biodiversity loss: A deep dive into the Living Planet Almond, R. E. A., Grooten, M., and Petersen, T., editors. The Living Planet Report 2020. WWF, Gland, Switzerland

Böhm, M., Dewhurst-Richman, N. I., Seddon, M., Ledger, S. E. H., Albrecht, C., et al. (2020). The conservation status of the world’s freshwater molluscs. Hydrobiologia 848:3231-3254. doi: 10.1007/s10750-020-04385-w

Hoyal Cuthill, J. F., Guttenberg, N., Ledger, S., Crowther, R., and Huertas, B. (2019). Deep learning on butterfly phenotypes tests evolution's oldest mathematical model. Sci Adv 5:eaaw4967. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw4967

Cane, E., Laventhol, J., and Ledger, S. (2018). Surveying ultraviolet reflectance in moths: A method and workflow for data capture using opensource tools. Journal of Natural Science Collections 5:50-65

Blagoderov, V., Penn, M., Sadka, M., Hine, A., Brooks, S., et al. (2017). iCollections methodology: workflow, results and lessons learned. Biodivers Data J:e19893. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.5.e19893

Paterson, G., Albuquerque, S., Blagoderov, V., Brooks, S., Cafferty, S., et al. (2016). iCollections - Digitising the British and Irish Butterflies in the Natural History Museum, London. Biodivers Data J:e9559. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.4.e9559