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Dr Sahran Higgins

Dr Sahran Higgins

Industrial Impact Fellow: Flood Resilience and Biodiversity

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 1.03


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

 Office hours:

Tuesday - Thursday


Current Research: I’m currently working on an exciting multi-partner project, (StARR) funded by ESIF,  that takes a whole catchment approach to improve flood resilience using natural flood management solutions. Working with key project partners including Cornwall Council, West Country Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, business and private land owners. I am co-ordinating the development of a  management plan to improve the conservation status of a site forming part of the Mid Cornwall Moors SSSI.  I am also undertaking ecological monitoring to assess changes in biodiversity over time using a range of remote surveying techiques. Findings from biodiversity monitoring within the catchment will be used to inform evidence based decision making in relation to natural flood management strategies. I work with Prof. Kevin Gaston, Prof. Karen Anderson and Prof. Richard Brazier.


Research Interests: I am an ecologist with broad interests. I am particularly interested in rewilding approaches and in understanding how ecosystem processes and functions are key in developing climate change adaptation and resilience strategies and in doing so, provide multiple co-benefits and ‘win-win’ scenarios for nature and society. 

Previous Research: I hold a PhD in Evolutionary Ecology (University of Exeter) and have a background in freshwater ecology (Environment Agency). My research has focussed broadly on the interactions between humans and nature, spanning microbial to landscape level. I have worked on several large, pan-European projects with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School. My research has explored how various aspects of human health interact with species rich natural spaces, and in understanding the nexus between ecosystem services, climate change and health.  Most recently, my research as part of Prof. Will Gaze's research group, explored the landscape-level environmental and ecological factors that may contribute to exposure risk of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in urban coastal waters of Hong Kong. This was funded through the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Exeter Joint Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Resilience (ENSURE) research centre. 



PhD Evolutionary Ecology (University of Exeter)

BSc (Hons) Ecology (1st Class)



Supervision / Group

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