Dr Ilya Maclean

Associate Professor of Global Change Biology

I am an applied ecologist broadly interested in understanding how humans have changed the biological world, and how we might protect and enhance the world’s remaining biodiversity. I have a particular interest in using ecological theory to make smart decisions about how to do this. I am committed to finding practical solutions to environmental problems and work closely with researchers in other disciplines and local, national and international policy-makers and practitioners to achieve this.

Jonathan Mosedale

University Research Fellow

Having previously completed research on how oak wood influences the maturation of wines and spirits, I am currently looking at the potential implications of climate change for the Cornish wine industry. I have worked as a Statistician and Senior Policy Adviser within the Department for Transport, working on science and technology policies to improve transport security and information management. A minister in the Church of England, I am also interested in the relationship between science, culture and religion, particularly how it shapes the way we value and perceive the natural world. I am also a member of the Biosciences department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Robin Curtis

Postdoctoral researcher

I am a field ecologist with over twenty years of experience in surveys and research, mostly on birds and insects. I completed my PhD at UCL and my main research interests are conserving species and habitats in relation to climate change and habitat fragmentation. I regularly use data loggers to underpin my research, much of which has highlighted the importance of creating thermally diverse microclimates for insect conservation. I am currently using drones to investigate their potential use for rapid assessment of microclimates to improve management for butterflies at the landscape level.

James Duffy

Postdoctoral researcher

I am an environmental scientist using remote sensing and spatial analysis techniques to monitor environmental change. My work has spanned multiple spatial and temporal scales, ranging from the investigation of global changes in vegetation dynamics and night time lighting using satellite data products to developing new methodologies for environmental monitoring at very fine spatial scales with drone and kite aerial photography techniques. My current work involves the integration of novel fine spatial and temporal resolution datasets to improve microclimate modelling, specifically with applications to agriculture.

Alexandra Gardner

Postgraduate researcher

My research interests lie in applying ecological research to help solve conflicts between humans and biodiversity and to conserve species in a changing climate. For my PhD, I will develop and use microclimate modelling techniques to identify places that may be climatically conducive to growing exotic, novel crops in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. I will work closely with Cornwall Council and hope that my research will support the production of higher value, niche markets crops that require less land, permitting more land to be devoted to biodiversity conservation in the Duchy.

I completed both my Undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus before working as an environmental advisor in the construction industry for almost four years.

Rachel Jones

Postgraduate researcher - co-supervised with Dr. Robert Wilson.

My interests lies in how to effectively conserve species under climatic change, particularly those persisting within fragmented habitats, specifically focusing on butterflies. I am currently undertaking a part-time PhD at the University of Exeter researching the effects of habitat management and climatic change on the Lulworth Skipper butterfly.

During my masters studies I was able to research the invertebrate guild associated with the larval foodplant of the Marsh Fritillary butterfly and since my interest in has butterflies grown. From 2012 I have been fortunate to work for the charity organisation Butterfly Conservation. Alongside my PhD I continue to work for Butterfly Conservation part time as a Senior Ecologist and undertake a wide variety of work including; species monitoring, delivery of conservation projects, running training events, provision of habitat management advice, collating species-specific data and producing species status reports.

Broad research specialisms:

Climate change impacts on biodiversity

Landscape-scale conservation

Population dynamics

Marcus Rhodes

Postgraduate Researcher - co-supervised with Prof. Richard ffrench-Constant, Dr. Jonathan Bennie and Dr. Adrian Spalding

I am an ecologist interested in how species respond to environmental change. Butterflies are a particular passion of mine, with their ecology and conservation forming the focus of much of my research. For my PhD, I am investigating the effects of habitat and microclimate on threatened butterfly populations here in Cornwall, aiming to identify how these factors influence species persistence within landscapes. This research is funded by the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Cornwall Butterfly and Moth Society and Spalding Associates (Environmental) Ltd. Previously, I studied BA (Hons) Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and MRes Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Research at Imperial College (Silwood Park). I have also worked as a field assistant at the University of York.

Twitter: @MarcusWRhodes

Brittany Trew

Postgraduate researcher - co-supervised with Dr. Regan Early.

I am conducting research into the potential for fynbos plant species persistence in the South African Cape Floral Region in response to anthropogenic climate change. I will be using fine-scale bioclimate models to identify potential microrefugia for fynbos plant species and identifying potential areas of conflict between human land use and critical fynbos habitat.

I completed a Masters degree in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus, and conducted research investigating cumulative anthropogenic threats to marine megafauna in Equatorial Guinea with focus on Marine Protected Area planning for the region. My broad research interests involve the application of conservation management and planning strategies in sub-Saharan Africa for current and future anthropogenic stresses like human-induced climate breakdown and land-use change.


(PhD, 2012-2016)

(PhD, 2014-2018)

(Postgraduate researcher)

(Research Fellow, 2012-2016)

Luca Bütikofer

(Postdoctoral researcher, 2019)

James Stewart

(PhD, 2015-2020)

Richard Fox