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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Richard Fox

Dr Richard Fox

ESI Affiliate

 01626 368385



I am a professional ecologist working in biodiversity conservation and a long-time butterfly and moth enthusiast (on twitter as @RichardFoxBC). I have worked for the UK charity Butterfly Conservation ( since 1997, leading their work on butterfly and moth recording schemes and citizen science. I have been involved in a large number of research collaborations utilising the data gathered through these schemes and recently completed a PhD by Publication at the Environment and Sustainability Institute, Exeter University (Penryn).

Broad research specialisms:

  • Insect ecology
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Impacts of global environmental change on biodiversity
  • Citizen science


2020 PhD by Publication Biosciences, University of Exeter

1992 MSc Nature Conservation, University College London

1990 BA Zoology, University of Oxford


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Research projects

  • Measuring UK trends in Lepidopteran biodiversity and assessing extinction risk, and relating these to global efforts to understand biodiversity decline. Ongoing long-term work utilising citizen science gathered data on the occurrence or abundance of butterflies and moths. Current focus is on a new State of Britain's Moths report.
  • Assessing the impacts of climate change on UK butterflies and moths. Partner in two recent NERC research projects led by the University of York: The velocity of evolutionary responses of species to ecological change; testing adaptive limits in time and space and Refugial populations at trailing-edge range margins: attributes, survival and conservation.
  • Impact of artificial light at night (ALAN) on moth populations and related ecosystem functioning. Current project is a PhD studentship in collaboration with Newcastle University and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology investigating the impact of ALAN on the abundance and behaviour of moth larvae and cascading effects among their parasitoids communities.
  • Understanding the benefits and limitations of citizen science. Recent innovative projects have assessed the efficacy of citizen science, patterns of engagement and implications for data quality and the onward use of data contributed by citizens, so as to maximise the benefits of such schemes for participants, researchers and wider society.

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