Space Invaders: Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of Alien Species

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Profile Display Name:

Thomas Evans

E-mail Address:

thomas.evans.14@ucl.ac.uk

Start Year

2014 (Cohort 1)

Research interests:
Hobbies and interests:
PhD Project
PhD Title

Space Invaders: Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of Alien Species

Research Theme

Biodiversity and Ecology

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution

UCL

Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution

UCL

Abstract

Invasive alien species (IAS) can severely damage the environment, and are the second most significant cause of species extinction risk worldwide. However, the impacts of IAS vary, and there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the mechanisms and processes that lead to invasions with impact, and the most appropriate measures to adopt in order to identify and quantify those impacts. This uncertainty means that we are often unable confidently to determine the most appropriate course of action to predict and manage alien invasions, and so proposed conservation interventions may be ineffective and unnecessarily costly. I will use a standardised, unified methodology to quantify and categorise the impacts of IAS, using alien birds as a model taxon. In so doing, I will generate the first-ever global classification of alien bird species in terms of the severity of their environmental impacts. I will then use the data generated to assess spatial and taxonomic variation in the extent of alien bird impacts, and to test the characteristics of alien birds that determine this variation. This will enable recommendations to be made regarding future approaches to identify and manage IAS.

Policy Impact
Background Reading
Publications
News & Blogs

New Protocol Helps Identify and Categorise Environmental Impacts of Alien Species, Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology

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