- 2018–Present: PhD Researcher, London NERC DTP, Institute of Zoology and University College London
- 2017–2018: Research Assistant, Wurm Lab, Queen Mary University of London
- 2016–2017: MSc in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Queen Mary University of London
- 2012–2015: BSc Biodiversity and Conservation, Birkbeck College, University of London
Ecosystem health and sustainability
Evolution and adaptation in response to habitat and climate change
Predation, parasitism, trophic cascades and food webs
Mimicry, camouflage and crypsis
Pollination services and syndromes
Biodiversity, endemism and biogeography
Habitat and species conservation
Birds are an important component in maintaining ecosystem function across a variety of landscapes - fulfilling the vital functions of herbivore predation, seed dispersal, and pollination, among others. While some species have evolved specialised morphological adaptions to occupy restricted niches, others have evolved as generalists, and birds across this trait-space perform various ecosystem functions. However, what remains unclear is how to quantify the direct effects these assemblages of bird functional traits have on ecosystem function. This research aims to address this knowledge gap by exploiting the natural laboratories of East Africa’s “sky islands”, in order to provide empirical evidence for the ecosystem functions that birds perform. Combining surveys, field experiments and molecular data this research will advance the field beyond the now increasingly standard morphology-based assessments to address the links between habitat disturbance, functional structure and ecosystem function.
Anthropogenic pressures have direct effects on habitats and species as evidenced by the current high rate of species extinctions across all taxa. Understanding the ecosystem-level effects of these extinctions - how they will impact trait diversity and composition and further alter ecosystem function - should be a wider research priority that could ultimately influence targeted conservation efforts and government policy.
Dr Julia Day (University College London)
Prof Ken Norris (Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London)
Dr Alex Pigot (University College London)