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Conservation Research Institute



I am a conservation scientist, who researches strategies that can be employed to conserve species diversity and healthy ecosystem functioning both in the UK and abroad. I am a University Teaching Officer in the Department of Zoology, Curator of Insects in the University Museum of Zoology and   a Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge.

In Sumatra, Indonesia I work on the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Programme investigating management strategies to increase biodiversity in oil palm plantations without impacting yield. In Sabah, Malaysia I work with the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project that experimentally investigates the impact of rainforest fragmentation and conversion to agriculture on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.  In the UK, I collaborate with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust, investigating insect diversity and management on chalk grassland reserves.


I am interested in understanding how landscapes can be managed to maintain biodiversity and healthy functioning ecosystems, while still allowing agricultural development to take place. Much of this work has been based in Malaysian Borneo, where I study the impacts of tropical rainforest fragmentation and conversion to oil palm plantation: among the biggest threats to global biodiversity today. In Sumatra, Indonesia I am PI on the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Programme (, which investigates management strategies to increase biodiversity in oil palm plantations without impacting yield. This includes a largescale experiment that manipulates understory complexity in plantations and another that investigates management solutions for river margin reforestation in established oil palm landscapes. 


Key publications: 

Luke SH, Dow RA, Butler S, Chey VK, Aldridge DC, Foster WA, Turner EC (2017) The impacts of habitat disturbance on adult and larval dragonflies (Odonata) in rainforest streams in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Freshwater Biology 62, 491–506.

Kurz DJ, Turner EC, Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, Barkley HC, Caliman J-P, Konopik O, Sudharto Ps & Foster WA (2016). Replanting reduces frog diversity in oil palm. Biotropica. 48, 483-490.

Turner EC & Snaddon JL. (2016). Deforestation in Southeast Asia. Biological and Environmental Hazards, Risks and Disasters (8th volume of Disasters and Hazards). Ed Shroder J. Chapter 12.1. Elsevier (UK). ISBN: 9780123948472

Fayle TM, Turner EC, Basset Y, Ewers RM, Reynolds G, Novotny V (2015) Whole-ecosystem experimental manipulations of tropical rainforests. Trends Ecol. Evol. 30, 334–346.

Foster WA, Snaddon JL, Dwi Advento A, Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, Barclay H, Caliman J-P, Kurniawan C,  Kurz DJ, Mann D, Mohd Naim, Purnomo D, Pujianto, T. Dzulfikar S. Rambe, Slade EM,  Soeprapto, Suhardi, Sudharto Ps, Ribka Sionita Tarigan,  Resti Wahyuningsih, Rudi Harto Widodo and Turner EC (2014) The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Project. The Planter, Kuala Lumpur, 90, 581-591.

University Lecturer and Curator of Insects


Departments and institutes: