Supervisors – University of York

Dr Kathryn Arnold

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: Wildlife dispersal of antimicrobial resistance; Impacts of environmental contaminants on wildlife; Biodiversity and ecosystems services; Woodland management and biodiversity; Animal ecology and behaviour. Avian behavioural ecology. Environmental policy.

Current ACCE Students: George Day, Daniel Maskrey

University website:

Twitter: @KateArnold14

Dr Colin Beale

Department of Biology

Research Interests: I am an ecologist with broad interests in spatial patterns and conservation biology. Research in my group covers a wide range of subjects, but development and application of novel quantitative methods, particularly those involving spatial analyses, are a unifying theme whether working in the field or using derived datasets. Together, members of my lab work on projects both fundamental and applied, in the UK and overseas. In the UK we are working both to understand the fundamental demographic processes that generate range limits and to apply this knowledge to predict impacts from climate change, whilst in Africa we are studying both the fundamental drivers of the savannah biome and undertaking applied research to reduce illegal activities in protected areas.

Current ACCE Students: Joris Wiethase, Louisa Mamalis

Twitter: @tzbirder

University website:

Prof Alistair Boxall

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: Alistair Boxall is Professor in Environmental Science in the Environment Department and Director of the NERC-funded ECORISC Centre for Doctoral Training. Alistair’s research focuses on understanding emerging and future ecological and health risks posed by chemical contaminants in the natural environment. Alistair is a past member of the Defra Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and past Chair of the Pharmaceutical Advisory Group of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He regularly advises national and international organisations on issues relating to chemical impacts on the environment and has published extensively on the detection, fate, effects and risks of emerging contaminants (including pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and transformation products) in the natural environment. Alistair was co-ordinator of the CAPACITIE project, a 3.5M Euro project on pollution monitoring in cities and academic co-ordinator of the 10.3 M Euro iPiE project on intelligent assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment, he directed the York City Environment Observatory Initiative. He co-leads the Global Pharmaceutical Monitoring Project which is monitoring concentrations of pharmaceuticals in more than 200 river systems covering 102 countries. He received the 2016 Recipharm International Environmental Award for his work on the impacts of chemical contaminants on the environment and was identified as 2018 Highly Cited Researcher in the Agricultural Chemicals sector.

Current ACCE Students: Hattie Brunning, Harriet Sleight, Tom Sinclair

Prof Colin Brown

Current ACCE Student: Rosie Lennon

Dr Philip Cox

Department of Archaeology

Research Interests: My research is principally concerned with the mammalian skeleton and how it has been shaped by both evolution and function. I am particularly interested in how the forces generated by feeding can influence cranial morphology. I investigate these issues using a number of techniques such as geometric morphometrics, finite element analysis, and diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced microCT. Many of my current research projects apply these methods towards issues of conservation and invasive species such as red vs grey squirrels and European vs American mink.

Current ACCE Student: Sophia Anderson

University webpage:

Twitter: @drphilcox

Prof Oliver Craig

Department of Archaeology (BioArCh)

Research Interests: Ancient biomolecules, stable isotope research, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, palaeodietary research, archaeology.

Current ACCE Student: Isabella Gaffney

Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra

Department of Biology

Research Interests: We use genetic and genomic techniques to answer interesting questions in evolutionary biology. The primary focus is on understanding the process of speciation, and gene flow between species following speciation. While we mainly study neotropical butterflies, we apply these methods to a wide range of taxa including cichlid fishes, wood ants, British butterflies, seals, rhododendron, ceps …. basically, anything with DNA.

Current ACCE Students: Bruna Cama, Michael Lawson, Edward Page

Prof Lisa Emberson

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: Impacts of air pollution and climate change on crops, forests and semi-natural vegetation; crop modelling; carbon sequestration; mitigation and adaptation to climate change and pollution; policy.

Current ACCE Student: Jo Cook

University page:

Twitter: @EmbersonL

Dr Julia Ferrari

Department of Biology

Research Interests: My research lies at the interface of evolutionary biology, ecology and genetics and concentrates on the ecology and evolution of interspecific interactions. I am particularly interested in symbiotic interactions, and in how symbionts shape interactions with other species. Microbial symbionts are ubiquitous in eukaryotic hosts, and many of these microbes play key roles in their host’s biology. For example, some symbionts allow hosts to thrive on imbalanced food sources, or protect their hosts from environmental challenges such as natural enemy attack or extreme temperatures.  We are using insect-microbe models to explore the genetics, ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions in these systems.

Current ACCE Student: Chris Fitzpatrick, Megan Hasoon

Dr Daniel Franks

Current ACCE Student: Helen Mylne

Dr Ville Friman

Department of Biology

Research Interests: I am interested in eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in multi-trophic communities. I use two main study systems in our research. First, a model cystic fibrosis lung microbiome to focus on understanding how the evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial pathogen is shaped by sub-inhibitory antibiotic concentrations, other co-occurring bacteria and lytic phages. Second, a tomato rhizosphere microbiome model to study bacteria-phage-plant interactions in soil focusing on Ralstonia solanacearum plant pathogenic bacterium (a causative agent of bacterial wilt disease).

My main interests include:

Using ecological and evolutionary theory to engineer rhizosphere microbiomes in agriculture
Phage therapy in clinical and agricultural contexts
Evolution of pathogen virulence
Antibiotic resistance evolution in microbial communities
Eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in microbiomes

Current ACCE Students: Carrie Alderley; Martina Stoycheva


Twitter: @FrimanScience

Prof Roland Gehrels

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests:

• Sea-level and climate change
• Global warming and recent accelerations of sea-level rise
• Salt marshes and carbon storage
• Coastal palaeoecology
• Micropalaeontology (foraminifera)

Current ACCE Students: Graham Rush, Sophie Williams, Lucy McMahon, Greg Rushby

University webpage:   

Twitter: @RolandGehrels

Prof Jane Hill

Current ACCE Student: Susannah Fleiss

Dr Jon Hill

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: My research focuses on environmental computational science. I build and use software to solve and investigate environmental problems; past, present and future, focusing on sedimentology and hydrodynamics, particularly in coastal regions. I have published research in a wide range of fields, all underpinned by numerical or statistical modelling, but focusing on finite elements methods.

Current ACCE Student: Katie Lee

Dr Jasper Kenter

Current ACCE Student: Elaine Azzopardi

Dr Peter Mayhew

Department of Biology

Research Interests: Evolutionary ecology, mainly of insects. Macroevolution, life history evolution, conservation biology, community biology.

Current ACCE Student: Adam Bakewell

Dr Colin McClean

Current ACCE Student: Katrina Threadgill

Dr Robert Mills

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: I’m a functional ecologist with a focus on mountain ecosystems. I ask how mountain ecosystems are structured, and how topographical factors that constrain snow and incoming energy define the range of soil organic matter forms and the ecological response that we see. I work across European mountains and have a focus on the changing winter, which I explore through manipulations and observational ecology.

Current ACCE Students: Alexandra Burkitt, Josh Thurston, Naomi Hosego-Day, Lucy McMahon

Twitter: @mountainecology

Prof Kirsty Penkman

Department of Chemistry

Research Interests: My research interest is in developing and applying analytical chemistry to archaeological and geological questions, including human evolution and climate change. Working collaboratively with a wide range of disciplines, my focus is on the analysis of biomineral organics: their pathways of degradation, their methods of preservation, of detection, and how these molecules can inform us of an organism’s life and death history. I run the NERC-recognised amino acid dating facility, NEaar.

Current ACCE Student: Chloe Bartlet

Research homepage:

Twitter: @NEaar_lab

Dr David Rippin

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: My research focuses on the controls on the dynamics of glaciers and ice-sheets, specifically the role of thermal regime, hydrology, rheology and geology. Through the application of remote sensing and field-based approaches, my work has revealed an improved understanding of the hydrology and dynamics of polythermal glaciers, and the way in which these glaciers might respond to climate change. My work is also focused on the collection, processing and analysis of airborne and ground-based radio-echo sounding data. Further research has led to important insights regarding the controls on ice flow in Antarctica and Greenland. Most recently, my work has focussed on the use of modern photogrammetric techniques (e.g. time-lapse imagery, unmanned aerial vehicles and Structure from Motion) for exploring glacier dynamics, glacier change and supraglacial drainage evolution.

Current ACCE Students: Lauren Rawlins (and Adrian Dye who has recently completed and passed his viva).

Twitter: @dmrippin

Dr Elva Robinson

Department of Biology

Research Interests: I am a behavioural ecologist studying the social organisation of animal groups, using ants as my primary study system. I am interested in how social animals, especially ants, impact the ecosystems in which they occur, and what contributes to their ecological success. I work on both native and invasive ant species in both the UK and abroad. My work combines field studies, behavioural experiments in the laboratory and computational modelling.

Current ACCE Students: Dominic Burns, Megan Holgate, Jacob Podesta

Twitter: @Elva_Robinson

Dr Penny Spikins

Department of Archaeology

Research Interests:

1) Evolution of human social motivations: particularly social-emotional dynamics in Palaeolithic societies and how to use archaeological evidence to better understand the evolution of altruism both within and between groups
2) Neurodiversity: particularly the evolution of cognitive variability and neurodiversity, specifically autism in prehistory and the relationship between autism and material culture
3) The origins of human healthcare provisioning and medicine

Current ACCE Students: Callum Scott

Prof Chris Thomas  

Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity and Department of Biology

Current ACCE Students: Roberto Padovani, Charles Cunningham, Joshua Sammy, David Scott

Dr Karen Thorpe

Current ACCE Student: Katey Valentine

Dr Sylvia Toet

Current ACCE Student: Alice Sleight

Prof Piran White

Department of Environment and Geography

Research Interests: I carry out research on people, wildlife and the environment, including the services and benefits we derive from nature, and the links between ecosystems, health, and development. Much of my work involves the use of interdisciplinary approaches from the social and economic sciences alongside more traditional ecological research. I have worked on projects in the UK, Europe, Australasia, Latin America and the Caribbean. My current research includes projects on the impact of the environment on mental health and wellbeing, the protective value of ecosystems, vulnerability and resilience in relation to environmental hazards, nature recovery for biodiversity and health, and the implications of political and land use change for climate risk and vulnerability.

Current ACCE Students: Vanessa Berrie, Katie Pearson

%d bloggers like this: