I am an urban ecologist, specialising in green infrastructure and urban greenspaces. I completed a BSc in Zoology from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2005, followed by a year working in the water industry. In 2009 I went on to do a PhD at Royal Holloway, studying the soil ecology of green roofs. The aim of this study was to assess the contribution green roofs make to urban soil biodiversity and to find ways to improve the sustainability of green roofs by manipulating this soil community. I completed my PhD in 2013 and went on to a post at Forest Research, investigating the ecosystem services provided by urban trees.
I joined the University of Portsmouth in September 2014 as a lecturer in Sustainable Urban Development.
My research interests lie in the sustainability of green infrastructure, from ensuring the ecological systems that underpin green roof functioning are healthy, up to investigating the barriers to their uptake in industry. I am also interested in how green infrastructure can form ecological networks throughout urban areas and improve the quality of life for residents and wildlife.
Greenspaces as an integral part of the urban ecosystem, with humans as the primary organism living within this habitat, is another of my key research themes. Knowledge about the benefits of greenspace to human health and wellbeing is growing fast, yet greenspaces are becoming undervalued as urban populations soar. Thus, another research interest of mine is how to assess the benefits of urban greenspaces in a holistic way, including elements of physical and social research, to emphasise the positive impact of greenspaces in urban ecosystems.