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

  • 2019-2022: Elected staff member of KCL Academic Board
  • 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:

  1. Australian Research Council
  2. European Research Council
  3. European Science Foundation
  4. US National Science Foundation
  5. UK Natural Environment Research Council
  6. BiodivERsA (pan-European biodiversity research funding agency)
  7. The Nature Conservancy
  8. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  9. Czech Science Foundation
  10. Swiss National Science Foundation
  11. The Leverhulme Trust, UK
  12. Ecological Society of Australia
  13. The Serrapilheira Institute, Brazil

Book publishers:

  1. CABI Publishing
  2. Cambridge University Press
  3. Oxford University Press
  4. Wiley-Blackwell


  1. Nature
  2. Science
  3. Nature Communications
  4. Nature Ecology & Evolution
  5. PNAS
  6. Trends in Ecology & Evolution
  7. npj Biodiversity
  8. PLOS Biology
  9. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  10. BioScience
  11. Current Biology
  12. Ecology Letters
  13. Global Change Biology
  14. Global Ecology & Biogeography
  15. Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  16. Philosophical Transactions B
  17. Ecology
  18. Journal of Ecology
  19. Ecology & Evolution
  20. Journal of Applied Ecology
  21. Ecography
  22. AoB Plants
  23. Biological Conservation
  24. Diversity and Distributions
  25. Oikos
  26. PLoS ONE
  27. Austral Ecology
  28. Ecosystems
  29. Oecologia
  30. Journal of Vegetation Science
  31. Plant Ecology
  32. Hydrobiologia
  33. Plant Ecology and Diversity
  34. Environmental Research
  35. Biological Invasions
  36. Restoration Ecology
  37. Axios
  38. Acta Oecologia
  39. Health Promotion International
  40. PNAS of India
  41. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
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