My research interests focuses upon plant community ecology. I am specifically interested in African woodland and savanna ecology and managing vegetation change on these landscapes in terms of both ecological and socioeconomic impacts.

Areas of Expertise:

Savanna ecology
Fire ecology
Miombo woodlands
Community ecology
Biodiversity
Environmental resources and poverty alleviation

Publications

  1. Woody cover in wet and dry African savannas after six decades of experimental fires. Journal of Ecology 103(2), 473-478.
  2. & Determinants of woody encroachment and cover in African savannas. Oecologia

Teaching

  • BIB700 Trends in Biosciences

    In this module you will discover what it takes to be a research scientist and discuss world-leading research with biologists from Universities and research institutes from all over the UK and further afield. You will attend our Biosciences seminar series, generally held every second Thursday, as well as a series of journal clubs and more informal talks, held on the Thursdays in between the biweekly seminars. Following each seminar there will be a group workshop with the speakers where you will to learn to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline, and gain a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Biosciences. For a selection of seminars, you will summarise the research highlights (3 to 5 bullet points, maximum 85 characters) and write an abstract on the research (max 300 words). You will also produce brief, webinar-style presentations and blogs for Swansea BioTalks, the blog for our seminar and journal club series at the Department of Biosciences. These tasks will allow you to fine-tune your communication skills and increase your depth of understanding of the latest research in Biosciences.

  • BIO011 Literature Review

    This module is designed to develop the core literacy skills of foundation year students in Biosciences. The module consists of the production of a detailed review of a scientific topic from a list of provided themes. Additionally, students will create an accompanying scientific poster. Students are required to independently undertake a thorough literature search utilising an appropriate scientific search engine. They must then collate all of the relevant information into a comprehensive review summarising the key aspects of the topic whilst also validating the reliability of the sources of information. Furthermore, students will be required to prepare a poster summarising the key background information and findings of their review. All reviews will be submitted electronically via TURNITIN to ensure compliance with the University's policies on plagiarism.

  • BIO109 Core Skills for Biological Sciences

    This module is divided into three sections, scientific writing, data analysis and chemistry, which will equip students with the core skills needed throughout their degree program. The content of the module includes understanding the different types of data that can be measured and collected, the tools to formally present and analyse data and data analyses, and practical applications of spreadsheet software. There is a 'hands on' focus on dealing with data and developing basic mathematical and statistical analytical skills. Furthermore this module introduces first year undergraduates to the key skill of scientific writing, developing their ability to locate, understand, evaluate and communicate scientific information. Basic chemistry will be covered as a foundation to its importance to biological processes.

  • BIO231 Year 2 Biological Sciences Literature Review

    This module is designed to develop the core literacy skills of undergraduate students at Level 2 in Biosciences. It consists of the production of a detailed, 3000 word critical review of a recent topic of scientific interest that is relevant to the students degree scheme (biological, zoological or marine) and an accompanying scientific poster. Students are required to independently undertake a thorough literature search utilising an appropriate scientific search engine. They must then collate all of the relevant information into a comprehensive review summarising the key aspects of the topic whilst also validating the reliability of the sources of information. Furthermore, students will be required to prepare a poster summarising the key background information and findings of their review. All reviews will be submitted electronically via TURNITIN to ensure compliance with the Universities policies on plagiarism.

  • BIO232 Plant Ecology

    This module provides a holistic approach to plant ecology, including both classical ecological theory and practical surveying techniques. Students will become familiar with six major themes; plant formations and biomes, synecology, autecology, plant geography, paleoecology and modern plant ecology. Students will also be trained in plant taxonomy, field surveying techniques, data analysis and report writing that complement a future career in ecology, conservation or consultancy

  • BIO249 Introduction to field ecology

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (woodlands, grasslands, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and the indicator species associated with them.

  • BIO331 Professional Techniques in Ecology, conservation and Resource Management

    This field based module will introduce students to the professional techniques utilised to monitor and study animals and plants in a variety of terrestrial habitat types and in relation to conservation management and biodiversity monitoring in the United Kingdom. The course places a strong emphasis on ecological census techniques and basic classification and taxonomy. Students will develop key techniques relevant to the environmental sector including Protected Species (specifically birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and plants), River and Phase 1 habitat surveys and Environmental Impact Assessment. Students will also learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that define different UK habitats and be introduced to the natural history of Wales. A focus is on developing key transferable skills that enhance employability such as problem solving, data analysis, report writing, evaluation, communication and teamwork.This module is therefore suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in ecological consultancy or conservation.

  • BIO341 Plant Conservation and Ecology

    "Without plants, there is no life. The functioning of the planet, and our survival, depends on plants.¿ (Global Plant Conservation strategy 2012). This module gives an overview of the importance of plant communities to conservation goals and the threats to plant habitats. We will explore core concepts of conservation biology, examining both in-situ and ex-situ conservation and discuss global conservation policies and conventions. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct their own plant conservation assessments in line with the IUCN framework.

Supervision

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