Dr Penny Neyland
Senior Lecturer
Telephone: (01792) 604598
Room: Office - 115
First Floor
Margam Building
Singleton Campus


  1. & Intraspecific Root Trait Variability Along Environmental Gradients Affects Salt Marsh Resistance to Lateral Erosion. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7
  2. & Generalisation and specialisation in hoverfly (Syrphidae) grassland pollen transport networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Journal of Animal Ecology 0, 1-14.
  3. & Floral resource partitioning by individuals within generalised hoverfly pollination networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Scientific Reports 8(1)
  4. & Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands. Ecology and Evolution 7(19), 8073-8086.


  • BIL300 Alternative Assessment: Ecology and Conservation

    This module is an alternative for students that are unable to attend the Year 3 Biology or Zoology field courses. Students will be provided with data to analyse and directed to research and investigate relevant habitats that emulate those studied on the Year 3 field course.

  • BIO103 Plants and Algae; Diversity Form and Function

    Plant lectures cover the structure, life cycles and morphology of the major living Divisions of the Plant Kingdom. Floral structure, pollination, fruit dispersal and seed germination are discussed with particular reference to plant-animal interactions. This is followed by lectures that cover the basic anatomy of higher plants, from the cellular to the whole organism level. Lectures on plant physiology will emphasise flowering plants as whole organisms and concentrate particularly on plant-environment interactions. The topics covered are: photosynthesis; water relations; mineral nutrition; organic translocation; growth; developmental physiology. Aspects of plant ecology, plant-herbivore interactions and the importance of plants in medicine will also be covered. The lectures on plants are complemented by three laboratory practical sessions; Lower plant classification is studied by development of a dichotomous key; Basic anatomy and cell structure are studied microscopically; Physiological experiments illustrate aspects of plant water relations. Additionally, taxonomy and classification of species from the major divisions are studied by demonstrations displaying a wide range of specimens, along with examples of flower structure, pollination types and seed/fruit dispersal. Lectures on microalgae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae will provide an overview on the importance of these photosynthetic organisms in aquatic ecology and in evolution, and in how they can be used to help society. Phenotypic and genotypic taxonomic classification will be introduced followed by morphology and ecology of the main taxonomic classes. An overview of algal measurement techniques will be given. Roles of microalgae within microbial food webs and global biogeochemical cycles including introduction to harmful blooms will be included. This will lead onto how algae are increasingly important in biotechnology and how they can be used to help provide solutions to societal sustainability issues such as climate change, global food security, pollution and developing the bioeconomy. There will be one laboratory practical associated with these lectures, illustrating the diversity of micro and macroalgae and developing microscope techniques.

  • 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

  • BIO238 Marine Ecosystems: Threats and Conservation

    This module introduces the students to various marine ecosystems and the broad ecological concepts that underpin marine community structure. The first block of lectures will present processes that are common across many marine ecosystems. Subsequent lectures will go into detail on types of marine ecosystems, with specific examples in tropical, temperate, and polar regions. Within these lectures we will focus on some of the threats faced by these ecosystems, ranging from climate change and marine plastics to illegal fishing and tourism. The module will also introduce conservation efforts in the marine ecosystems presented over the semester. There will be two fieldtrips that will exemplify some of the processes and challenges faced by biota found in some of the ecosystems covered in the lectures. One will be to the Crymlyn Burrows to assess the adaptations of estuarine organisms to salinity variability and the other will be carried out on the RV Mary Anning investigating how primary and secondary production can influence marine community structure. There are three pieces of coursework associated with the module. Two of these will be based around the field trips. These assignments will rely on observations and data, with emphasis placed on teamwork and group cooperation both in the field and when preparing and presenting your findings. The third will be a computer-based practical using ecosystem modelling software to look at how different threats (e.g. ocean warming, overfishing) might impact a virtual marine ecosystem.

  • 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.

  • BIO327 Tropical marine ecology field course

    This field based module will provide students with an introduction to the ecology of tropical marine systems and teach students the key practical skills required by tropical marine biologists. Students will obtain training in how to design, implement and report scientifically robust marine research. The module will complement the level three marine field course and help develop key skills in field based marine biology. Students will learn skills in marine ecology and taxonomy, in-water marine sampling and surveys, and impact assessment. This module will be mostly practical based but will also include theory lectures, workshops and feedback sessions. It would be structured around seven days of directed practical activities and a three day small group based mini-project. The field course will utilise snorkeling and intertidal walking as the major means of sampling throughout directed practical¿s.

  • BIO330 Tropical marine ecology and conservation

    This module will provide a holistic overview of the ecology and conservation of important marine ecosystems, and will place this information within the context of ecosystem services, and their value to humanity. This module will consist of up to 12 lectures/seminars on the following topics: ¿ Diversity and biology of coral reef communities ¿ Structure and function of seagrass meadows (temperate and tropical) ¿ Mangrove forest ecology ¿ Connectivity across the tropical marine seascape ¿ The ecosystem services of tropical marine systems ¿ Response of coral reef systems to climate change and ocean acidification ¿ Degradation of tropical marine systems ¿ Resilience thinking and the management of tropical marine systems The module also contains a workshop session and additional direct contact with the module lead lecturer.

  • 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.

  • BIOM32 Ecosystems: Ecology, Conservation & Resource Management

    In this module, the students will learn to identify and understand the diversity and contrasting characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on the origin and effects of various human-induced environmental impacts.


  • 'Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their role in pollination' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Geoff Proffitt
    Other supervisor: Dr Daniel Forman