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Conservation Research Institute


The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute has moved our weekly Networking Mornings to online sessions whilst we are working from home. The following speakers have discussed their recent papers or work during these sessions every Thursday from 11am. If you would like to join us please email

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 878 3981 3735


Dr Andrew Bladon - Department of Zoology

Climatic change and extinction risk of two globally threatened Ethiopian endemic bird species


Fleur Nash - Department of Geography

Fleur's current PhD research focuses on conservation and how social-political processes influence practice and her experiences working in the research practice space between researchers and practitioners.


Rogelio Luque-Lora - Department of Geography

Rogelio will discuss his recent policy briefing on Nature-Based Solutions


Dr Michelle Kalamandeen - Visiting Research Associate

Limited biomass recovery from gold mining in Amazonian forests 


Dr Andrew PlumptreKey Biodiversity Area Secretariat

Just 3% of Earth’s land ecosystems remain intact – but we can change that


Dr Adam Pellegrini - Department of Plant Sciences

Fire as a fundamental ecological process: Research advances and frontiers


Josh Brian - Department of Zoology

Don't move a mussel? Parasite and disease risk in conservation action

Conservation Biologists May Unintentionally Spread Pathogens: When conservationists relocate species, they don’t always account for the pathogens hitching a ride, and the consequences of introducing them to a new environment.


Angalee Nadesalingam - Veterinary Medicine

Angalee is a PhD candidate, studying the transmission and risk factors of Lassa virus


MPhil Conservation Leadership 2020-2030 Strategy Launch

What will the conservation leadership landscape look like in ten years’ time and how do we get there?

The new 2020-2030 strategy for the Masters in Conservation Leadership will address these challenges by delivering outstanding training, catalysing the impact of course alumni, and establishing a global conservation leadership community of practice. Building on our decade of experience and relationships, the strategy will enable us to build conservation leadership capacity at scale, where it is most needed, and with greatly increased accessibility. Register here...


Emma Garnett - Research data supporting" Order of meals at the counter and distance between options affect student cafeteria vegetarian sales"

This research data contains data from across 2017 and 2018 on vegetarian sales and model estimates from cafeterias at University of Cambridge colleges A and B. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of meal presentation order on vegetarian sales. We investigated this by changing meal order between “VegFirst” – positioning the vegetarian option first – and “MeatFirst”, in two studies involving 105,143 meal selections...


Professor Jeremy Wilson - RSBP

Following a PhD and postdoctoral research on bird behaviour and ecology at the University of Edinburgh and 10 years leading research at the British Trust for Ornithology, University of Oxford and the RSPB to understand impacts of agricultural change on bird populations, Professor Jeremy Wilson became RSPB's Head of Conservation Science in Scotland in 2001. He is responsible for strategic development of our science programme to inform conservation management, advice, policy development and advocacy, and for developing collaborations across the Higher Education, statutory and commercial sectors.


Hannah Braithwaite - UNEP WCMC

In this session, Hannah will give an overview of UNEP-WCMC, the programmes of work and how they focus specific knowledge and expertise to tackle the global nature and climate crisis. Hannah will provide examples of recent projects that have been delivered and a few exciting new initiatives that UNEP-WCMC have in development.

Hannah’s role is to oversee UNEP-WCMC’s external engagement with a particular emphasis on new partnership development. Hannah leads the Development and Communications team which works to secure funding for the delivery of UNEP-WCMC’s strategy and ensure this is supported through the delivery of compelling external communications, media messaging, branding and marketing. 


Dr Sara Serradas Duarte - Cambridge Global Challenges

Professor Alan Blackwell (Co-Director, Cambridge Global Challenges Strategic Research Initiative) and Professor Neil Burgess (Chief Scientist, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, UNEP-WCMC) will discuss the International development work at the University of Cambridge, research facilitation by Cambridge Global Challenges and work led by the GCRF TRADEHub.

Sara is interested in researching and applying frameworks that can adequately support academic communities in maximising the positive impact of their research on the lives of the world’s poorest 3 billion people. 


Professor David Coomes - Nature Based Solutions

David leads a research group that is actively engaged in addressing these issues, as well as tackling more fundamental ecological questions. Focusing on forest conservation and ecology, David's research uses large databases and modern computational approaches, alongside traditional field approaches.


Dr Nancy OckendonThe Endangered Landscapes Programme 

Nancy will disucss the recent call for applications for its Advancing and Applying Knowledge grantsThe Endangered Landscapes Programme aims to restore natural ecological processes, species populations and habitats for a better and more sustainable future. It signals a shift away from a narrative of ‘slowing declines’ and ‘no net loss’ to a positive and creative conservation agenda in which the potential of our land and seas is recognised.

The ELP’s Advancing and Applying Knowledge grants are open to proposals for projects that will advance any aspect of our understanding of or capacity to deliver landscape restoration in Europe...[Read More]


Joanna Elliott - Fauna & Flora International 

Joanna has been Senior Director of FFI’s Conservation Partnerships Department since 2013.  An environmental and business economist by background, she manages the FFI teams working on global cross-cutting issues including conservation finance, enterprise, good business practices, capacity building with local partner organisations, leadership, livelihoods & governance and monitoring & evaluation. Jo has worked on biodiversity-poverty linkages for over 20 years, including six years at DFID. She is currently a member of Defra’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group.


Sacha Khoury -  'Resilience of Spanish forests to recent droughts and climate change'.

A widespread increase in forest cover is underway in northern Mediterranean forests because of land abandonment and decreased wood demand, but the resilience of these successional forests to climate change remains unresolved. Here we use 18‐year time series of canopy greenness derived from satellite imagery (NDVI) to evaluate the impacts of climate change on Spain's forests...[Read More]


Lucy Goodman - 'Moving methods online - gathering and ordering opinions on contentious environmental topics.'

In this Thursday Networking Morning, Lucy Goodman discussed gathering and ordering opionions on contentious environmental topics through online methods and the application of these research methods post COVID-19. 


David Willer - 'Sustainable bivalve farming can deliver food security in the tropics'

Bivalve shellfish represent a nutritious and low-impact food source that is underutilized. New innovations in production in this sector could fulfil the protein needs of nearly one billion people in the most vulnerable global regions...


Dr Silviu Petrovan - Post COVID-19L A Solution Scan of Options for Preventing Future Zoonotic Epidemics

The crisis generated by the emergence and pandemic spread of COVID has thrown into the global spotlight the dangers associated with novel diseases, as well as the key role of animals, especially wild animals, as potential sources of pathogens to humans. There is a widespread demand for a new relationship with wild and domestic animals, including  suggested  bans on  hunting,  wildlife trade,  wet  markets  or  consumption  of wild animals…[Read More]


Trishant Simlai Racial Tensions and the Politics of Conservation Practice in Violent Environments

Answering this question with an example of blatantly racist and coercive imagery endorsed and propagated by two large players in the conservation world, both internationally and in India.


Professor Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger - Sword, Shield or Spoon? The Role of International Law in Sustainable Resources Management

Professor Dr Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, DPhil (Oxon), MEM (Yale), BCL& LLB (McGill), BA Hons, FRSA is an expert jurist and scholar of law and governance on sustainable development, as senior Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge. With over 22 books and 90 papers published, editor of a CUP Series on Treaty Implementation for Sustainable Development, and founder/editorial board member of several law journals, she serves as Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Climate Law & Governance Initiative; Senior Director of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL); and Full Professor of Law at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), University of Waterloo in Canada...[Read More]


Dr Yuan Pan - Human–Nature Relationships in East Asian Animated Films.

Abstract: Our relationship with nature is complex and exploring this extends beyond academia. Animated films with powerful narratives can connect humans with nature in ways that science cannot. Narratives can be transformative and shape our opinions. Nevertheless, there is little research into non-Western films with strong conservation themes. Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese filmmaker that is acknowledged as one of the greatest animated filmmakers and master storytellers globally. The themes of environmentalism, feminism and pacifism resonate throughout his films. His underlying message is that humans must strive to live in harmony with nature, whilst presenting us with the socio-cultural complexities of human–nature relationships. I review five of Miyazaki’s films that explore human–nature relationships. One film was released with a special recommendation from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and the other won an Oscar. I explore the lessons that we can learn from these films regarding human–nature relationships, and how to create powerful narratives that resonate with audiences and transcend cultural barriers.


Dr Rachel Carmenta - Characterizing and Evaluating Integrated Landscape Initiatives.  

Abstract: Integrated landscape initiatives (ILIs) are a leading approach to achieving sustainability across the tropics. Considerable diversity among ILIs has created uncertainty regarding what a landscape approach is, how it is pursued, and what outcomes it can deliver. We show that four distinct strategies exist, two of which are only weakly integrated and another two of which more ambitiously attempt integration, engage more sectors and scales of governance, and target the structural barriers to sustainability. We show that integration underscores performance.


Dr Tom Worthington  - Global Datasets for Mangrove Conservation and Restoration.

Abstract: Mangrove forests are found on sheltered coastlines in tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate regions. These forests support unique biodiversity and provide a range of benefits to coastal communities, but as a result of large-scale conversion for aquaculture, agriculture, and urbanization, mangroves are considered increasingly threatened ecosystems. Scientific advances have led to accurate and comprehensive global datasets on mangrove extent, structure, and condition, and these can support evaluation of ecosystem services and stimulate greater conservation and rehabilitation efforts...[Read More]


Dr Anthony Waldron 

Abstract: Paper on the CBD COP about the idea (which the CBD Secretariat's Expert Committee and Zero Draft are already working on) that we should protect 30% of the planet for nature by 2030, but what would the economic implications be and how could it ever be financially feasible? He found that it's surprisingly very feasible.


Professor David Coomes -  Forest Ecology and Conservation Group.

The Forest Ecology Group uses high-resolution remote sensing to understand how forests are responding to global environmanetal changes including logging, land management and climate change, addressing key issues in ecology and conversation.  


Sophia C. Cooke - “Invasive species in Galapagos” and “Roads and birds in Great Britain”.

Abstract: The introduced smooth-billed ani Crotophaga ani has become widespread across the Galápagos archipelago in the past half-century. It is known to predate upon a range of native and endemic species, and is a potential vector for the spread of invasive plants and parasites. Here we report previously undocumented examples of smooth-billed ani predation in Galápagos, including that of an endemic racer snake and a scorpion...[Read More]