Dr Ben Phillips
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Environment and Sustainability Institute desk 109, 2.16
Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK
I'm an environmental scientist who is broadly interested in how we can balance the needs of both people and nature.
To date, my research has focused on (i) pollinator conservation, (ii) the environmental and social benefits that we get from nature ('ecosystem services'), and (iii) public engagement with nature. My research has used many different approaches, including ecological surveys and experiments, evidence synthesis, spatial modelling, and social science methods. However, a common theme of my research is that it is practical and solution-oriented - figuring out how we can best benefit nature, whilst taking into consideration the needs and constraints of land managers, local communities and other stakeholders.
Currently, I'm working as part of a team to develop a Species Conservation Strategy pilot for hazel dormice, led by Prof Robbie McDonald, and funded by Natural England.
For my PhD (2017-2021), I studied the potential of road verges for conserving nature, and for providing broader environmental and social benefits, such as storing carbon, mitigating pollution, and improving people's access to nature. This work was supervised by Prof Juliet Osborne, Prof Kevin Gaston and Prof James Bullock. I worked in partnership with the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) unit and various conservation organsations and highways managers to develop and communicate road verge management advice. For a summary of this research, see the webinar linked below that I led alongside partners from Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation.
Previously, I've been involved in projects across broad disciplines within the Environment and Sustainability Institute whilst working as the Research Impact Coordinator. Wherever beneficial, I take an interdisciplinary approach throughout my own research.
2021 PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Exeter
Thesis: "Roads, verges and nature".
2017 MSc by Research in Biological Sciences, University of Exeter
Thesis: "Pollinator community and function: in oilseed rape fields and in drought-stressed grassland".
2013 BSc (Hons) Biology, University of Bristol
2021-Present Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2021 (Jan-Apr) PhD Intern, Connecting People with Nature Programme, Natural England
2017-21 PhD Researcher, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2017 Research Impact Coordinator, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2015-17 MSc by Research, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2015-16 Research Technician, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
2012-13 Research Technician, University of Bristol
- Pollinator conservation
- Nature conservation
- Ecosystem services
- Public engagement with nature