The Future of Alien Invasions: modelling the impact of rates of introduction, and introduction bias, on the richness and composition of alien assemblages.

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Angela Bartlett

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Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

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Angela Bartlett is a London NERC DTP PhD student with the Department of Geography. Her interests cover a range of disciplines, including invasion ecology, aquatic catchment management and global change. She is particularly interested in integrating empirical and theoretical research to improve targeting of interventions for environmental challenges we face in a changing world.

Angela’s research is focused within the macroecology sub-field, where the development of large ecological datasets and databases is used to explore spatial and temporal patterns in the human-mediated movement of species around the world, and how this filters through to biological invasion processes.

Prior to starting her PhD, Angela worked for 5 years in environmental NGOs, using GIS and data analysis to aid with environmental management and research. She previously, studyied at Queen Mary University of London, gaining a BSc in Environmental Science and an MSc in Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments.

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PhD Project
PhD Title

The Future of Alien Invasions: modelling the impact of rates of introduction, and introduction bias, on the richness and composition of alien assemblages.

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Translocation of species to locations beyond their native biogeographic boundaries is a defining feature of the Anthropocene. These species, termed aliens, can cause far-reaching ecological, environmental and socio-economic impacts. Despite well-known impacts, introduction of alien species is intensifying worldwide with globalisation. Furthermore, changing demands and expanding trade and transport are introducing new types of species to new areas. New introductions pose a problem for biosecurity, which relies on information about traits of past invaders, as species and the locations they are introduced to are biased by human decisions. Thus, existing measures can fail to identify new high-risk species. In addition, increased rates of introductions (numbers and magnitude of species) increases the likelihood of establishment of alien species. It is therefore critical to understand and quantify the sequential stages of alien invasions, particularly introduction and establishment, to target interventions. This research uses theory and empirical data, for vertebrates and plants, to investigate the impacts of introduction rates and biases on the richness and composition of alien assemblages. The findings will be used to develop predictive models to identify (1) which species are likely to become invasive and (2) geographic locations vulnerable to invasion under different future scenarios to inform biosecurity measures.

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