Current lab members, potential new members, former lab members and a few lab pics

Current members

Dr Jane Catford (she/her), Research group leader

Jane leads the Ecological Change research group. She is a Reader in Ecology in the Department of Geography at KCL and Senior Editor at Journal of Ecology. She is a plant community ecologist with interests in biological invasions, environmental change and biodiversity. Email: jane.catford[at]

Angela Bartlett (she/her), PhD student

Angela is researching the impact of rates of introduction, and introduction bias, on the richness and composition of alien plant and vertebrate species assemblages. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Tim Blackburn]. Email: angela.bartlett[at]

Dr Josh Brian (he/him), Postdoc

Josh has interests in community ecology, symbiosis and invasion biology. Part of the AlienImpacts team, Josh is primarily focusing on enemy release and will use grassland experiments to tackle these and related questions. Email: joshua.brian[at]

Jaiden Johnston-Bates (he/him), PhD student

Jaiden is investigating how managed watering events (irrigation releases & environmental flows) influence patterns and processes of plant invasions and community shifts in riparian and floodplain habitats in dryland catchments of the Northern Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. [Supervisors: Fran Sheldon, Jane Catford, Samantha Capon]. Email: jaiden.johnston-bates[at]

Stefanie Kaupa (she/her), PhD student

Stefanie is researching the impacts of agricultural land abandonment & associated vegetation change on hydrology in the mountain environments of Nepal and Colombia. [Supervisors: Mark Mulligan, Jane Catford, Sampurno Bruijnzeel]. Email: stefanie.kaupa[at]

Luis Moliner Cachazo (he/him), PhD student

Luis is evaluating ecological assembly rules for aquatic-terrestrial transition zones in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. [Supervisors: Michael Chadwick, Jane Catford, Ben Price, Anson Mackay]. Email: luis.moliner_cachazo[at]

Dr María Ángeles Pérez-Navarro (she/her), Postdoc

María Ángeles’ is a terrestrial ecologist and biogeographer interested in understanding and predicting species distribution changes with global change. As part of her role in the AlienImpacts team, she is examining if, how and why native and alien plants differ in their demography and traits. Email: maria_angeles.perez-navarro[at]

Junru Shen (she/her), PhD student

Junru is researching the ecological impacts of dams and approaches for successful river restoration. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Michael Chadwick]. Email: junru.shen[at]

Dr Harry Shepherd (he/him), Postdoc

Harry is a community ecologist with interests in species coexistence, plant-soil feedbacks and environmental change. In his role in AlienImpacts, he will build mechanistic models that predict the outcomes of invasion on plant community diversity with a focus on temperate grasslands. Email: harry.shepherd[at]

Jonathan Sutton (he/him), PhD student

Jonathan is a theoretical ecologist building models of community dynamics responding to invasion, incorporating factors such as human-caused disturbance and evolutionary effects. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Vincent Jansen] Email: jonathan.1.sutton[at]

Billy (he/him), the lab lab

Billy focuses on finding balls, encouraging people to throw balls and fetching balls. [Supervisors: Jane Catford and anyone willing to throw a ball]. Email: none; please find him at the park

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Potential new lab members

I welcome interested postdocs, and undergraduate and postgraduate students to contact me about potential research projects. I have a number of ideas regarding projects, but welcome – and encourage – other ideas. If interested, please email me with your CV and a brief statement of your interests, background and why you’d like to work with me.

For undergrad and Masters students: relevant information about KCL Geography courses can be found here. Our BSc Geography & Environmental Science includes an independent research project that is done in 3rd year. Our Masters courses are closely tied with the department’s research strengths and include an element of independent research. These projects can be highly rewarding and lead to peer-reviewed publications (e.g. here).

For PhD students: good starting points for information (including about funding) can be found here and here. Funding for PhD students is also available through the London NERC DTP and LISS DTP. If you have identified a project topic and potential funding source/s, please get in touch to discuss (jane.catford[at]

For postdocs: fellowship funding is available through Marie Skłodowska-Curie, The Royal Society and NERC, but their are other avenues for postdoc funding, e.g. via named positions on standard research grants of which there are many sources. If you have identified a project topic and potential funding source/s, please get in touch to discuss (jane.catford[at]

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Former lab members


Dr Lizzie Wandrag (she/her), Postdoc 2015-2019

Lizzie worked with Richard Duncan and me on our ARC Discovery Project that aimed to predict the causes and consequences of plant invasions. 

Dr Joe Greet (he/him), Postdoc 2016-2019

Joe is a riparian plant ecologist. He worked on a project with Chris Walsh and me that aimed to quantify the interactive effects of flood regime restoration, native vegetation plantings, and removal of understorey vegetation in restoring a degraded wetland forest. 

Dr Laura Graham (she/her), Postdoc 2019

Laura used her mathematical prowess to help me with a mechanistic niche model of plant invasion in grasslands. 

Dr Annabel Smith (she/her), Postdoc 2015-2016

Annabel worked with me on a project examining trait-based interactions between invading plants and resident species in a Minnesotan prairie over a 20 year period.

Dr Nicki Munro (she/her), Postdoc 2013-2015

Nicki worked me on a project that aimed to develop and test a process-based model of invasion at the landscape scale.

PhD students

Dr Abigail Mabey (she/her), PhD (2017-2022), University of Southampton

Abbie identified characteristics that enable species to become invasive across aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with a particular focus on seaweed. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Marc Rius, Dan Smale]. Email: A.L.Mabey[at]

Dr Harry Shepherd (he/him), PhD (2018-2022), University of Southampton

Harry examined the potential for plant-soil feedbacks to enhance ecosystem restoration, focusing on peatlands and grasslands. [Supervisors: Bjorn Robroek, Jane Catford, Marc Dumont]. Email: H.E.R.Shepherd[at]

Dr Sarah Fischer (she/her), PhD (2017-2022), University of Melbourne

Sarah used surveys and field experiments to understand drivers of growth and regeneration in riparian trees in the critically endangered floodplain forest of Yellingbo Nature Conservation Park. [Supervisors: Joe Greet, Chris Walsh, Jane Catford]. Email: fischers[at]

Dr Andrew O’Reilly-Nugent (he/him), PhD (2015-2020), University of Canberra

Andrew used modern coexistence theory to understand species coexistence and invasion in grasslands using a series of greenhouse and field experiments. [Supervisors: Richard Duncan, Elizabeth Wandrag, Jane Catford]. Email: Andrew.Oreillynugent[at]

Dr Estibaliz Palma (she/her), PhD (2013-2019), University of Melbourne

Esti used empirical and quantitative approaches to explore opportunities and limitations of the use of functional traits to understand plant invasions in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Peter Vesk]. Email: estibaliz.palma[at]

Dr Saras Windecker (she/her), PhD (2014-2019), University of Melbourne

Saras combined lab, field and quantitative research to examine relationships between plant traits and carbon storage in freshwater wetlands in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Peter Vesk, Jane Catford, Peter Macreadie]. Email: sm.windecker[at]

Dr Decky Junaedi (he/him), PhD (2014-2018), University of Melbourne

Decky used field surveys, questionnaires and statistical modeling to examine traits and perceptions of invasive exotic plants that have spread from tropical botanic gardens in Indonesia. [Supervisors: Mark Burgman, Jane Catford, Mick McCarthy]. Email: deqee82[at]

Dr David Johnson (he/him), PhD (2013-2018), Australian National University

David used field surveys and experiments to increase understanding of ways to restore forbs in modified woodlands in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Phil Gibbons, Jane Catford, Don Driscoll]. Email: david.johnson[at]

Dr Samantha Dawson (she/her), PhD (2013-2018), University of New South Wales

Sam’s PhD project focused on the impacts of flooding and agriculture on vegetation in the Macquarie Marshes, NSW, using field, experimental and quantitative approaches. [Supervisors: Richard Kingsford, Jane Catford, Peter Berney, David Keith]. Email: samantha.k.dawson[at]

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A few lab photos

November 2020 with the fabulous Professor Yvonne Buckley as our guest

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