Dr Aisling Devine
Senior Lecturer
Telephone: (01792) 295229
Room: Office - 140
First Floor
Vivian Building
Singleton Campus

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
Environmental resources and poverty alleviation


  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


  • BIO014 Research Skills for Biologists

    This module is designed to develop the core analytical skills of foundation year students in Biosciences. The module focuses on the elements of literature research and data analysis, drawing to together these important skills to develop a critical approach to learning in Biosciences. Students will be guided through the process of researching and writing a literature review on a pertinent topic in Biosciences. Workshops will focus on the different stages of research and writing and will be supported in developing these skills through group activities and short weekly tests. Students will also develop their literature review topic into a scientific poster - a valuable skills for future academic study. In the second part of this module, students continue to develop analytical skills through the introduction of experimental design and hypothesis testing as well as some of the key methods of presenting and analysing data. All coursework 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.

  • 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 ecological techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (freshwater systems, woodlands, sand dunes). You 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, you will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and indicator species associated with them.

  • BIO331 Professional skills in conservation

    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.

  • BIO347 Tropical Ecology and Conservation - Borneo Field Trip

    Borneo is a hot spot for biodiversity both in regards to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This module is a residential field course which will explore ecological and conservation principles in tropical rainforests and marine ecosystems.