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Rachel joined SEI in 2013, having completed her PhD in the Biology Department at the University of York. Her PhD research related to the impacts of climate change on UK biodiversity, specifically how species have already responded to climate change by altering the types of habitat they use.
At SEI she has continued her work on UK biodiversity, for example, researching how altering management of the UK uplands may help to buffer soil invertebrates against increasingly dry conditions, which could prove important for the conservation of upland breeding birds.
Since starting at SEI she has also worked on several citizen science projects, enthusing people about nature and engaging people in the scientific process. Projects have included the long-term, national OPAL project (www.OPALexplorenature.org) where her focus has been on working with communities surrounding former coal mines in South Yorkshire and developing a national brownfield citizen science survey; and the Moors for the Community Science Project, where she has developed methods and materials for volunteers to monitor how climate change is impacting the Peak District moorlands.
She also researches the citizen science process, trying to understand what motivates people to begin participating in citizen science, why they continue or stop participating and how projects can be designed to maximise data quality. She is also working on a project to try to understand what role citizen science can play in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal targets.
Biodiversity, climate change, citizen science, butterflies, UK uplands, brownfields, public engagement
- 2005 BA Hons (Biological Sciences, Oxford University)
- 2005 – 2008 Conservation Officer, Wildlife Trust of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire
- 2012 PhD (Climate change ecology, Department of Biology, University of York)
- 2013 to present: Researcher, SEI
Rachel is SEI York's Staff Rep.