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Department of Plant Sciences


Research Group

Tropical Ecology and Conservation


Research Overview

I am interested in the conservation of tropical forests and biodiversity. My group uses intensive field study, remote sensing, global mapping, land-use modelling, and environmental economics to tackle key questions in tropical forest ecology and conservation, with a focus on issues of global policy significance. I am particularly interested in understanding the most effective ways of managing primary forest, selective logging, restoration, farming, and wildlife trade in the tropics to enhance biodiversity protection and the delivery of associated ecosystem functions and services. I work closely with conservation practitioners, government, and industry in developing my group’s research and translating it into applied solutions.


Previous Positions

2018-2023  Professor of Conservation Science, University of Sheffield, U.K.
2016-2018  Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science, University of Sheffield, U.K.
2013-2016  Lecturer in Conservation Science, University of Sheffield, U.K.
2011-2013  Postdoctoral Researcher, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia.
2010-2011  STEP Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University, U.S.A. 
2007-2010  Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leeds, U.K.


2001-2005  Ph.D., University of East Anglia, U.K.
1997-2000  B.Sc., University of East Anglia, U.K.


Key Publications

Global hotspots of traded phylogenetic and functional diversity (2023) Nature

Reduced deforestation and degradation in Indigenous Lands pan-tropically (2022) Nature Sustainability

Global wildlife trade across the tree of life (2019) Science

Conservation of tropical forests in the Anthropocene (2019) Current Biology

How should beta-diversity inform biodiversity conservation? (2016) Trends in Ecology and Evolution


All Publications

Google Scholar

Professor of Plant Ecology
Head of Tropical Ecology and Conservation Group
David Edwards

Contact Details

Email address: 
David Attenborough Building
Pembroke Street
01223 748982