After a late-life shift from literature to biology, I studied how geographic range size relates to macroevolution (e.g. speciation and extinction rates) with Dolph Schluter at UBC. I then moved over to an ecology/evolution/conservation overlap. I showed how “extinction risk” can be defined by a species’ ability to withstand pressures, even though it is normally defined as the simple sum of pressures on a species.
I then built a global conservation funding database with the help of Dan Miller and Timmons Roberts and used it to ask why financial decision makers spend money the way they do, and where conservation spending ought to be prioritized internationally.
This work was begun at U. Georgia with John Gittleman, continued with a year’s funding from the UK Department of Social Security, and was polished off as Visiting Professor of Conservation and Chocolate at one of the state universities in N.E. Brazil, UESC. The first paper coming out of this has recently won an RSPB inaugural medal for conservation science. In 2013 I moved to Oxford University to work with Joe Tobias and Nat Seddon on functional diversity loss in the Amazon, as part of the RAS project.