Jamie Cranston
PhD student


During my undergraduate at Cambridge I was increasingly sucked into the marvelous and messy web of Life which blankets the earth. The modules in Conservation Science and Ecology which I studied highlighted the scale and complexity of the environmental challenges faced by humanity. This encouraged me to continue my studies and explore new areas of research where human elements were more explicitly accounted for.

I then began a Master’ course at Oxford aimed to approach biodiversity conservation from a more interdisciplinary perspective. Ideas from Foucault’s biopower to Von Uexkull’s Umwelt were explored for insight into how modern day biodiversity conservation is being shaped. There was also a strong focus on trophic downgrading and the dynamicity of natural processes as measured by scientific approaches.

Throughout my studies one strand which has always interested me is invasion biology and its related fields, such as reintroduction and restoration ecology. To me, this area of research has several exciting opportunities. Firstly, it allows pseudo-experimental tests of theoretical ecology in a real world setting. Secondly it hosts a bridge to the socials sciences, who decides what is native and non-native and where and how the boundary is drawn and for which parties. Finally, the dynamicity highlighted in this domain potentially affords a redrawing of connections between people and their environment and I feel it is a promising area for conservation outreach.

I aim to draw these elements together in my PhD to holistically explore the possible dangers for UK ecosystems emerging from new species colonizing in the UK due to climate change. The PhD investigates both the processes which lead to species becoming rarer and more common. It seeks to more towards developing decision making frameworks which can cope with the divergent biological processes governing natural colonists as well as the recognized problems of invasive non-natives species.

Broad research specialisms:

  • Invasion Biology
  • Conservation Biogeography
  • Macroecology
  • Species Redistribution


  • 2014 BA Hons Natural Sciences (Zoology), University of Cambridge
  • 2016 MSc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford

Contact details

AddressDaphne du Maurier Building
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

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