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Conservation Research Institute




  • 2006 – 2010: University of Southampton, Ph.D. Environmental Science. Thesis: The feasibility of reintroducing the burbot, Lota lota, to England.
  • 2003 – 2004: University of East Anglia, MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation (Distinction)
  • 2000 – 2004: University of East Anglia, BSc Environmental Science


  • 2017 – to date: Research Associate, Conservation Science Group, Dept. Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (UK)
  • 2015 – 2016: Research Associate, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff (UK)
  • 2011 – 2015: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Stillwater, Oklahoma (USA)
  • 2010 – 2011: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton (UK)
  • 2004 – 2006: Ecological Appraisal Officer, Environment Agency, Litchfield & Nottingham (UK)


I am an aquatic ecologist undertaking research in both freshwater and marine environments. Projects are centred on conservation of aquatic organisms and environments at landscape and global scales.

I have recently completed an analysis of mangrove restoration potential which locates and maps, on a global scale, the places where mangroves can be restored, and calculates the potential benefits from such restoration. The work provides a critical tool for encouraging restoration and enabling robust, data-driven policy changes and investments.

I am currently working on a project to map the distribution of global tidal marshes as a baseline to examine habitat loss, quantify ecosystem service value and determine restoration potential.


Key publications: 

Worthington, T. & Spalding, M. (2018). Mangrove Restoration Potential: A global map highlighting a critical opportunity.  

Worthington T., Echelle A.A., Perkin J.S., Mollenhauer R., Farless N., Dyer J.J., Longue, D. & Brewer S.K. (2017). The emblematic minnows of the North American Great Plains: A synthesis of threats and conservation opportunities. Fish and Fisheries, 19: 271:307. 

Brewer S.K., McManamay R.A., Miller A.D., Mollenhauer R., Worthington T. & Arsuffi, T. (2016) Advancing environmental flow science: developing frameworks for altered landscapes and integrating efforts across disciplines. Environmental Management, 58:175-192.  

Worthington T., Brewer S.K., Grabowski T.B. & Mueller J. (2014) Backcasting the decline of a vulnerable Great Plains reproductive ecotype: Identifying threats and conservation priorities. Global Change Biology, 20:89-102.

Kemp P.S., Worthington T. & Langford T.E.L. (2011) Quantifying the impact of reintroducing beaver on fish populations: a meta-analysis of the reviewed literature and survey of expert opinion. Fish and Fisheries, 13: 158-181.

Worthington T., Kemp P., Osborne P.E., Howes C. & Easton K. (2010) Former distribution and decline of the burbot (Lota lota) in the UK. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 20: 371–377. 


Other publications: 

Simmons B.I., Balmford A., Bladon A.J., Christie A.P., De Palma A., Dicks L.V., Gallego-Zamorano J., Johnston A., Martin P.A., Purvis A., Rocha R., Wauchope H.S., Wordley C.F.R, Worthington T. & Finch T. (2019) Worldwide insect declines: an important message, but interpret with caution. Ecology and Evolution, 9: 3678– 3680.

Worthington T., Brewer S.K., Vieux B.E. & Kennan J.G. (2019) The accuracy of ecological flow metrics derived using a physics-based distributed rainfall-runoff model in the Great Plains, USA. Ecohydrology, e2090.

Lunquist, S.P., Worthington T. & Aldridge, D.C. (2019) Freshwater mussels as a tool for reconstructing climate history. Ecological Indicators, 101: 11-21. 

Brewer S.K., Worthington T., Mollenhauer R., Stewart D.R., McManamay R.A., Guertault L. & Moore D. (2018) Synthesizing models useful for ecohydrology and ecohydraulic approaches: An emphasis on integrating models to address complex research questions. Ecohydrology, 11: e1966

Musselman, W.C., Worthington T., Mouser, J., Williams, D. & Brewer S.K. (2017) Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags: A review of current studies on warmwater fishes with notes on additional species. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 8: 353-364.

Mueller J., Grabowski T.B., Brewer S.K., & Worthington T. (2017) Effects of temperature, dissolved solids, and suspended solids on the early life history stages of Arkansas River Shiner. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 8: 79-88. 

Worthington T., Zhang T., Logue D.R., Mittelstet A.R. & Brewer S.K. (2016) Landscape and flow metrics affecting the distribution of a federally-threatened fish: Improving management, model fit, and model transferability. Ecological Modelling, 342: 1-18. 

Bagwill A., Lovern M., Worthington T., Smith L. & McMurry S. (2016) Effects of water loss on New Mexico spadefoot toad (Spea multiplicata) development, spleen cellularity, and corticosterone levels. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 325: 548-561.

Worthington T., Van Houdt J.K.J., Hull J.M. & Kemp P. (2016) Thermal refugia and the survival of species in changing environments: new evidence from a nationally extinct freshwater fish. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

Vowles A., Don A., Karageorgopoulos P., Worthington T. & Kemp P. (2015) Efficiency of a novel fish pass designed to mitigate for impeded upstream passage of juvenile European eels (Anguilla anguilla) at a model Crump weir. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 22: 307–316.)

Worthington T., Shaw P.J., Daffern J.R. & Langford T.E.L. (2015) The effects of a thermal discharge of the benthic macroinvertebrate community of the River Severn: implications for climate change. Hydrobiologia, 753: 81-95.

Dyer J.J., Worthington T. & Brewer S.K. (2015) Response of narrow-range crayfish to hyporheic water availability and excess sedimentation. Hydrobiologia, 747: 147-157.

Worthington T., Brewer S.K., Farless N., Grabowski T.B. & Gregory M.S. (2014) Interacting effects of discharge and channel morphology on transport of semibuoyant fish eggs in large, altered river systems. PLoS One, 9(5):e96599-e96608.

Worthington T., Brewer S.K., & Farless N. (2013) Spatial and temporal variation in efficiency of the Moore Egg Collector. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 33: 1113-1118.)

Dyer J.J., Brewer S.K., Worthington T. & Bergey E.A. (2013) The influence of coarse-scale environmental features on current and future distributions of narrow-range endemic crayfish populations. Freshwater Biology, 58:1071-1088.

Worthington T., Brewer S.K., Grabowski T.B. & Mueller J. (2013) Sampling efficiency of the Moore egg collector. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 33: 79-88.

Worthington T., Kemp P., Osborne P.E., Dillen A., Coeck J., Bunzel-Drüke M., Naura M., Gregory J. & Easton K. (2012) A spatial analytical GIS and RHS approach to selecting reintroduction sites for the reestablishment of the burbot in English rivers. Freshwater Biology, 57: 602-611.

Langford T.E.L., Worthington T., Shaw P.J., Kemp P.S., Ferguson A.J.D., Harding P. & Ottewell P. (2012) The Unnatural History of the River Trent: 50 Years of Ecological Recovery. In P.J Boon & P.J. Raven (Eds.) River Conservation and Management (pp. 261-272). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Worthington T., Kemp P., Osborne P.E., Howes C. & Easton K. (2011) A review of the historical distribution and status of the burbot (Lota lota) in English rivers. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 27 (Suppl. 1): 1–8. Worthington T., Kemp P., & Osborne P.E. (2011) Factors affecting the population viability of the burbot, Lota lota. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 18: 322–332.

Worthington T., Tisdale J., Kemp P., Williams I & Osborne P.E. (2010) Public and stakeholder attitudes to the reintroduction of the burbot, Lota lota. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 17: 465–472.

Worthington T., Vught I., De Charlroy D., Kemp P., Coeck J., Osborne P., Easton K. (2009) The re-introduction of the burbot to the United Kingdom and Flanders. In P.S. Soorae (Ed.), Global re-introduction perspectives: re-introduction case-studies from around the globe (pp. 26-29). Abu Dhabi: IUCN/SCC Re-introduction Specialist Group.

Geographical region

Central America
East Africa
East Asia
North Africa
North America
South America
South Asia
South East Asia
Southern Africa
West Africa
Research Associate
Dr Thomas  Worthington

Contact Details

David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street


Departments and institutes: 
Research keywords: 
Climate Change
Landscape Ecology