Dr Jane Catford

KCL ECS Headshots Nov 2018 at the  on the 05/11/2018. Photo: David Tett

I am a plant community ecologist with interests in biological invasions, environmental change and biodiversity. I am particularly interested in the causes, consequences and processes of vegetation change, and I typically focus on species invasions to tackle such questions. Human actions can directly and indirectly alter plant community composition, with subsequent impacts on ecosystem structure and function. Increased understanding of the processes maintaining community diversity and driving community assembly could be used to alleviate some of the ecological degradation caused by humans.

I am a Reader in Ecology in the Department of Geography at King’s College London and Senior Editor at Journal of Ecology. Before joining KCL in 2018, I held an academic position at the University of Southampton. From 2012-2016, I held a research fellowship with the Australian Research Council, and worked at the University of Melbourne, University of Minnesota and Australian National University. 

Information about other members of the Ecological Change research group is here.

Information about our five-year ERC project, AlienImpacts, is here.

Current positions


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Southampton, UK
  • PhD (Ecology), University of Melbourne, Australia (supervised by Barbara Downes)
  • BA, BSc (Hons) (Ecology, Geography, Politics), Monash University, Australia

Previous positions

  • 2018-2021: Member of British Ecological Society’s Publications Committee
  • 2020-2021: Programming Group for BES Ecology Live online seminar series
  • 2018-2021: Editor for Conservation Letters 
  • 2016-2021: Associate Editor for Journal of Ecology
  • 2020-2021: Deputy Chair of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, KCL Geography
  • 2019-2021: Deputy Chair of Undergraduate Examinations, KCL Geography
  • 2016-2020: Editor for Neobiota
  • 2018-2019: Visiting Academic, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton.
  • 2016-2018: Lecturer in Community Ecology, Biological Sciences, University of Southampton.
  • 2012-2018: Visiting Fellow, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University.
  • 2014-2018: Editor for Ecological Society of Australia’s Hot Topics
  • 2012-2016: ARC Research Fellow (ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award; ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions), University of Melbourne.
  • 2012-2015: International Scholar, Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, University of Minnesota.
  • 2009-2012: Research Fellow, School of Botany, University of Melbourne (funding from: Australian Weeds Research Centre; Applied Environmental Decision Analysis; National Climate Change Research Adaptation Facility).
  • 2009-2011: Vegetation Specialist on “River Health & Environmental Flows in China”, Australia-China Environment Development Program.
  • 2003-2008: Environmental consultant on freshwater-based projects (Ecological Engineering Pty Ltd, Stormy Water Solution Pty Ltd).


Funding agencies:

  • Australian Research Council
  • European Research Council
  • European Science Foundation
  • US National Science Foundation
  • UK Natural Environment Research Council
  • BiodivERsA (pan-European biodiversity research funding agency)
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Czech Science Foundation
  • Swiss National Science Foundation

Book publishers:

  • CABI Publishing
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Oxford University Press
  • Wiley-Blackwell


  • Nature Communications
  • Nature Ecology & Evolution
  • PNAS
  • Ecology Letters
  • Trends in Ecology & Evolution
  • PLOS Biology
  • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • BioScience
  • Ecology
  • Global Change Biology
  • Global Ecology & Biogeography
  • Journal of Ecology
  • Ecology & Evolution
  • Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  • Philosophical Transactions B
  • Ecography
  • Biological Conservation
  • Diversity and Distributions
  • Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
  • Oikos
  • PLoS ONE
  • Austral Ecology
  • Ecosystems
  • Oecologia
  • Journal of Vegetation Science
  • Plant Ecology
  • Hydrobiologia
  • Plant Ecology and Diversity
  • Environmental Research
  • Biological Invasions
  • Restoration Ecology
  • AoB Plants
  • Axios
  • Acta Oecologia
  • Health Promotion International
  • PNAS of India
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