The Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity brings together researchers from disciplines and departments across the University of York's three faculties and from partner organisations in Canada and Scotland.

Through collaborative, interdisciplinary working our researchers aim to develop an improved understanding of biodiversity gains, as well as losses, and inform and influence how society responds to these changes.

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Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

Directorate The Directorate lead on Centre development to ensure we meet our aims of delivering interdisciplinary, novel research into Anthropocene biodiversity.      
  Professor Chris Thomas, Director - I am interested in understanding biological and human processes that give rise to species being successful, the ways people exploit them, and the ways successful species exploit humans.
  Professor Kate Pickett, Associate Director - My research focuses on the impact of socioeconomic inequality on the health and wellbeing of people, communities and the environment.
  Professor Mark Jenner, Associate Director - I am committed to interdisciplinary work which relates archival research to theoretical concerns and current work within anthropology, literary studies and social theory.
The Research Strategy Group - Along with the Directorate, the Research Strategy Group oversees development and progress of the research programmes.
  Dr Maria Azeredo de Dornelas - My research focuses on quantifying biodiversity and understanding the processes that shape it.
  Professor Robert Costanza - My research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy and management issues.
  Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra - I apply genetic and genomic data to understand interesting evolutionary questions, in particular the causes of speciation.
Dr Alison Dyke - I work on nature-society relations, particularly focused on interactions between humans and trees, biosecurity, plant health and wild harvest.
  Professor Jean Grugel - My research interests focus on the inter-related fields of global development, political economy, global governance and human rights.
  Professor Jane Hill - I study the impacts of climate change and habitat loss on species to understand their responses to environmental change.
  Professor Ida Kubiszewski - My research focuses on ecological economics from a range of perspectives linked to wellbeing; such as the value of sustainable land management and links between natural capital and business resilience.
  Professor Nicky Milner - My research is highly interdisciplinary and mainly focuses on the Mesolithic period.  Palaeodiet and consumption practices are among my interests, along with settlement, mobility and the analysis of seasonality information.
  Professor Helen Smith - My current research includes an exploration of early modern materiality, tracing the liveliness of matter and making the case for literature as a means of engaging with and assaying the world around us.
  Professor Susan Stepney - A major strand of my research is computational simulation of complex systems, in particular, biological systems.
  Professor Lindsay Stringer - My research is conceptually anchored in intellectual areas including global environmental governance, political ecology and socio-ecological systems science.
  Professor Matthew Thomas - My research is conceptually anchored in intellectual areas including global environmental governance, political ecology and socio-ecological systems science.
  Dr Chris West - My current research focuses on the role of commodity trade and supply chains in driving environmental change.
  Professor Mark Vellend - My research focuses on plant population and community responses to environmental change.
 Postdoctoral Research Associates 
  Dr Sarah Bezan - My research demonstrates how contemporary creative representations of species loss and revival are radically reshaping cultural imaginaries of the Anthropocene.
  Dr Tadhg Carroll - I investigate biodiversity change in Anthropocene environments, with the aim of understanding why some places are gaining species, while others are losing them.
  Dr Brennen Fagan - My research aims to understand the sensitivity of food webs to translocations so that artificial food webs can be engineered safely and reliably.
  Dr Jack Hatfield - My research background is in community and landscape ecology, investigating how species communities are altered by land-use change.
  Dr Tabitha Kabora - My research explores human and environment interactions within the Holocene and Anthropocene with a focus on biodiversity, sustainability and large-scale landscape modifications.
Picture of Dr Harrie Neal  Dr Harrie Neal - The overarching arm of my research project explores the ways in which non-native species have been historically characterised and constructed.
  Dr Michael Stratigos - My research is interested in past human relationships to wetland environments, in particular characterising and quantifying land-use changes.
PhD Students
Chantal Berry - My research focuses upon acoustic ecology, or the sounds and rhythms of human-nature relationships between c.1500-c.1800.      
Molly Brown - My research focuses upon understanding the complex drivers of demand for illegal wildlife trade products, in particular ivory.
Tyler Gaines - My research concerns the impact of trade on biodiversity, and how this can be understood in an actionable way.
  Jonathan Gordon - My PhD research will use a range of biological and archaeological datasets to examine past human impact on biodiversity over the Anthropocene.
  Louisa Mamalis - During my PhD research I will explore the theme of landscape level change and its impacts on biodiversity. Funded by NERC ACCE DTP (2020-2024)
Katie Noble - Food production exists at the intersection of nature, society and technology. My PhD research focuses on the environmental and social dimensions of cultured meat.
  Alex Payne - My PhD project focuses on how past human interactions have influenced shifts in both diversity and distribution, particularly using Rhododendron.
  Joshua Sammy - For my PhD, I am investigating the ways in which insect distributions in the UK have changed, and whether and how this has been influenced by human land use. Funded by NERC ACCE DTP and the RHS. 
Megan Tarrant - My PhD research focuses on rights-based approaches to conservation, and the role of environmental knowledge in environmental justice.
Theo Tomking - My research focuses on the role of indigenous knowledge in developments in agricultural science and ecological thinking in Britain and its colonies in the 20th century.

The External Advisory Group will provide annual, independent feedback and advice, from a wide range of perspectives, on research activity.


Professor Sue Hartley (Chair)

Vice-President for Research, University of Sheffield

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Nnimmo Bassey

Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation

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Professor Mike Hulme

Geography, University of Cambridge

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Professor Melissa Leach

Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

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Professor Harriet Ritvo

History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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We will draw on the knowledge and expertise of University of York associates whose research areas dovetail with the work of the Centre. Any academic working on a complementary area is welcome to become an associate of the Centre.

Dr Colin Beale


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Professor Neil Carter


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Dr Sabine Clarke


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Professor Helen Cowie


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Dr Simon Croft

Stockholm Environment Institute



Professor Calvin Dytham


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Professor Jonathan Finch


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Dr Daniel Franks

Computer Science

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Dr Richard Friend

Environment and Geography

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Dr Jonathan Green

Stockholm Environment Institute

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Professor Stephen Holland


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Dr Luisa Huaccho Huatuco


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Professor Jeff Jia


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Dr Jasper Kenter

Environment and Geography

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Dr Inês Martins

University of St Andrews

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Dr Cade McCall


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Dr David Orton


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Dr Rachel Pateman

Stockholm Environment Institute

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Dr Jon Pitchford


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Dr Phil Platts

Environment and Geography

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Dr Darren Reed


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Dr Amanda Rees


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Dr Chris Renwick


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Dr Indrajit Roy


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Dr Katherine Selby

Environment and Geography

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Dr Freya Sierhuis

English and Related Literature

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Dr Daryl Stump

Archaeology, Environment and Geography

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Dr Julia Touza-Montero

Environment and Geography

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Dr Kevin Walsh




Dr Lizzie Wandrag


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Dr Caroline Ward

Visiting associate 

Professor Victoria Wells



Dr Sarah West

Stockholm Environment Institute

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Professor Piran White

Environment and Geography

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Dr Jamie Wood



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Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity