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Alexander C. Lees

Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology, Manchester Metropolitan University

I have broad interests in ecology and conservation biology and am especially passionate about tropical biodiversity and understanding conservation challenges and opportunities in human-modified landscapes. I have over 16 years of research experience in the tropics, which has provided me with a deep understanding of many of the on-the-ground challenges facing the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services – and the ways that science can help in addressing such challenges.

Experience

  • 2019–present
    Senior lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2016–2019
    Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2015–2016
    Postdoctoral fellow, Cornell University
  • 2012–2015
    Postdoctoral Fellow in land-use change, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi
  • 2012–2012
    Research fellow, Cambridge University
  • 2010–2012
    Postdoctoral fellow, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Education

  • 2008 
    University of East Anglia, PhD
  • 2004 
    University of East Anglia, BSc

Publications

  • 2021
    Understanding motivations and attitudes among songbird-keepers to identify best approaches to demand reduction, Conservation Science and Practice
  • 2021
    Who knows, who cares? Untangling ecological knowledge and nature connection among Amazonian colonist farmers, People and Nature
  • 2021
    Acoustic indices perform better when applied at ecologically meaningful time and frequency scales, Methods in Ecology and Evolution
  • 2021
    Assessing the extinction probability of the Purple-winged Ground Dove, an enigmatic bamboo specialist, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
  • 2021
    Annotated checklist of the birds of Brazil by the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee—second edition, Ornithology Research
  • 2021
    Environmental liability litigation could remedy biodiversity loss, Conservation Letters
  • 2021
    Optimizing tropical forest bird surveys using passive acoustic monitoring and high temporal resolution sampling, Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
  • 2021
    Multi‐decadal land use impacts across the vast range of an iconic threatened species, Diversity and Distributions
  • 2021
    Reassessing the role of cattle and pasture in Brazil's deforestation: A response to “Fire, deforestation, and livestock: When the smoke clears”, Land Use Policy
  • 2021
    Killing with kindness: Does widespread generalised provisioning of wildlife help or hinder biodiversity conservation efforts?, Biological Conservation
  • 2020
    Integrated terrestrial-freshwater planning doubles conservation of tropical aquatic species, Science
  • 2020
    Biodiversity scientists must fight the creeping rise of extinction denial, Nature Ecology & Evolution
  • 2020
    Heterogeneity of tree diversity and carbon stocks in Amazonian oil palm landscapes, Plant Ecology & Diversity
  • 2020
    hardRain: An R package for quick, automated rainfall detection in ecoacoustic datasets using a threshold-based approach, Ecological Indicators
  • 2020
    Spatio-temporal dynamics of consumer demand driving the Asian Songbird Crisis, Biological Conservation
  • 2020
    Climatic and local stressor interactions threaten tropical forests and coral reefs, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • 2020
    Mediation of area and edge effects in forest fragments by adjacent land use, Conservation Biology
  • 2020
    Extent and potential impact of hunting on migratory shorebirds in the Asia-Pacific, Biological Conservation
  • 2020
    A large‐scale assessment of plant dispersal mode and seed traits across human‐modified Amazonian forests, Journal of Ecology
  • 2020
    Characterizing bird‐keeping user‐groups on Java reveals distinct behaviours, profiles and potential for change, People and Nature
  • 2020
    How many bird and mammal extinctions has recent conservation action prevented?, Conservation Letters
  • 2020
    A roadmap to identifying and filling shortfalls in Neotropical ornithology, The Auk
  • 2019
    Taxonomic status of the extinct Canary Islands Oystercatcher Haematopus meadewaldoi, Ibis
  • 2019
    Mediation of area and edge effects by adjacent land use, Conservation Biology
  • 2019
    Ecological and geographical overlap drive plumage evolution and mimicry in woodpeckers, Nature Communications
  • 2018
    The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems, Nature
  • 2018
    Second rate or a second chance? Assessing biomass and biodiversity recovery in regenerating Amazonian forests, Global Change Biology
  • 2018
    Interspecific conflict structures urban avian assemblages, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2018
    Surveying tropical birds is much harder than you think: a primer of best practices, Biotropica
  • 2018
    The hairy–downy game revisited: an empirical test of the interspecific social dominance mimicry hypothesis, Animal Behavior
  • 2018
    Carbon-focused conservation may fail to protect the most biodiverse tropical forests, Nature Climate Change
  • 2017
    Explaining the persistence of low income and environmentally degrading land uses in the Brazilian Amazon, Ecology and Society
  • 2017
    Taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity of an urban Amazonian avifauna, Urban Ecosystems
  • 2016
    Evidence for longitudinal migration by a “sedentary” Brazilian flycatcher, the Ash‐throated Casiornis, Journal of Field Ornithology
  • 2016
    Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation, Nature
  • 2016
    Introductions do not compensate for functional and phylogenetic losses following extinctions in insular bird assemblages, Ecology Letters
  • 2016
    Using avian functional traits to assess the impact of land-cover change on ecosystem processes linked to resilience in tropical forests, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2016
    Climate mitigation: UK budget cuts erode Paris promises, Nature
  • 2015
    Exposing hidden endemism in a Neotropical forest raptor using citizen science, Ibis
  • 2015
    Idiosyncratic responses of forest-associated Amazonian birds to disturbance and land-use change, Oecologia
  • 2015
    Poor Prospects for Avian Biodiversity in Amazonian Oil Palm, PLOS ONE
  • 2015
    Fisheries: Leave Brazil’s Red List alone, Nature
  • 2015
    Floristic impoverishment of Amazonian floodplain forests managed for açaí fruit production, Forest Ecology and Management
  • 2015
    How pervasive is biotic homogenization in human-modified tropical forest landscapes, Ecology Letters
  • 2015
    Species, extinct before we know them, Current Biology
  • 2015
    Hydropower and the future of Amazonian biodiversity, Biodiversity & Conservation
  • 2015
    Species interactions regulate the collapse of biodiversity and ecosystem function in tropical forest fragments, Ecology
  • 2015
    Water: a drought plan for biodiversity, Nature
  • 2014
    Road networks predict human-influence on Amazonian bird communities, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2014
    Challenges of governing second-growth forests: a case study from the Brazilian Amazonian state of Pará, Forests
  • 2014
    Two hundred years of local avian extinctions in Eastern Amazonia, Conservation Biology
  • 2014
    Brazil's environmental leadership at risk., Science
  • 2014
    Vagrancy fails to predict colonisation of oceanic islands, Global Ecology and Biogeography
  • 2014
    Avian biodiversity in multiple-use landscapes of the Brazilian Amazon, Biological Conservation
  • 2013
    A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2013
    Pheasants, buzzards and trophic cascades, Conservation Letters
  • 2013
    Oil-palm concerns in Brazilian Amazon, Nature
  • 2012
    Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation, Diversity and Distributions
  • 2012
    Amazonian countryside habitats provide limited avian conservation value., Biodiversity & Conservation
  • 2012
    A framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes, Biological Conservation
  • 2012
    Developing evidence based arguments to assess the pristine nature of tropical forests, Biological Conservation
  • 2012
    How pristine are tropical forests? An ecological perspective on the pre-Columbian human footprint in Amazonia and implications for contemporary conservation, Biological Conservation
  • 2010
    Habitat and life history determinants of antbird local extinction in variable-sized Amazonian forest fragments., Biotropica
  • 2010
    Biodiversity conservation in human-modified Amazonian forest landscapes, Biological Conservation
  • 2009
    Gap-crossing movements predict species occupancy in Amazonian forest fragments., Oikos
  • 2008
    Avian Life history determinants of local extinction risk in a fragmented neotropical forest landscape, Animal Conservation
  • 2008
    A conservation paradox for the 21st century: the European wild rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, an invasive alien and an endangered native, Mammal Review
  • 2008
    Conservation value of remnant riparian forest corridors of varying quality for Amazonian birds and mammals., Conservation Biology
  • 2007
    Biodiversity loss, the wildlife trade and the emergence of infectious diseases., Ecohealth
  • 2006
    Origins and Characteristics of Nearctic Landbirds in Britain and Ireland in Autumn: a Statistical Analysis., Ibis
  • 2006
    Rapid avifaunal collapse along the Amazonian deforestation frontier. , Biological Conservation