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Professor of Ecology, University of Reading

Professor of Ecology at the University of Reading. My initial research focus was on the evolution of host-parasitoid interactions, and entomological research has remained a common thread running through my work. In the past ten years myresearch interests have moved towards questions about human-wildlife interactions, with an emphasis on urban ecosystems.

My current and recent work in the UK has been on urban birds (particularly on the unexpected consequences of supplementary feeding), the role of pet cats as the dominant predator in the suburbs and how urbanisation affects ecological interactions with predators, parasites and mutualists. Outside of the UK, projects are on leopards (South Africa), urban macaws (Brazil), sloth bears (India), domestic cats (Nigeria, Brazil), common grackles (USA), and insect pests (Ghana). I believe in connecting people with nature, and I have taught field classes in Europe, Borneo, Madagascar, across Ecuador and the Galapagos. I have published four books in the popular 30-Second series (on Evolution, Biology, Ecology and Zoology), won a silver medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, discussed my work widely in the media, and I was once selected as one of the UK's most influential men under the age of 40 by Esquire magazine. The only correct part of the latter was my age.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Ecology, University of Reading

Education

  • 1998 
    Imperial College London, PhD