Dr Stephen G Willis, BSc Msc PhD
(email at email@example.com)
Most of my recent research is tied to the role of climate and habitat in determining species distributions with as particular focus on conservation biology. Much of my research examines the effects of environmental change, particularly global climate change, on ecosystems and the mechanisms by which environmental change acts upon species. I also examine how environmental change impacts upon factors such as biodiversity and causes range shifts in both native and invasive species. Most of my research in this area involves ecological modelling using spatially explicit models and GIS, often incorporating remote-sensed data, though I also undertake experimental manipulations in the field. My research has involved collaboration with many research institutions e.g. NERC Centres for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood, Banchory and Dorset, Universities of York, Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge and Copenhagen and non-academic bodies such as English Nature, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, BirdLife International, Scottish Natural Heritage, British Trust for Ornithology, Environment Agency & Butterfly Conservation.
Post-graduate Completions in 2012:
1) Louis Phipps: 2-year MRes on ‘Spatial patterns of land-use by White-backed vultures from satellite-tracking across southern Africa’ (with Prof Naidoo, Pretoria Uni)
2) David Ochanda: 2-year MRes on ‘Climate and the distribution of endemic birds in the Albertine Rift Valley,East Africa’ (with Prof Pomeroy, Kampala Uni)
3) Julia Crabbe: Research MSc on ‘Biodiversity perception and value in UK protected areas’.
4) Chantelle Kerr: Research MSc on ‘Range changes in British butterflies: the roles of climate, habitat and dispersal in patterns of spread’.
5) Charlotte Bellamy: Research MSc on ‘The use of birds as biodiversity indicators of climatic change: downscaling European indicators to regional and national trends’.
Alumni and Past Projects:
1) Climate Change and African Important Bird Areas
Collaborators: RSPB, BirdLife International
Dr Dave Hole was employed as PDRA on this project. Dave now works for Conservation International
2) Climate change impacts on European migratory birds
Funding: NERC CASE studentship
Nathalie Doswald completed this project for her PhD. Nathalie now works for WCMC, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre
3) Using Sr isotopes to infer the origins of migrant birds
Funding: Nuffield Foundation
Collaborators: Northern Centre for Isotopic and Elemental Tracing (NCIET)
Dr Laura Font was the PDRA collaborating on this project. Laura Font is now an NFI and EU funded Post-doctoral researcher at Amsterdam University.
4) Conservation in the face of climate change: developing an adaptive management framework across Africa
Funding: The Macarthur Foundation
Collaborators: The BirdLife Partnership
Dr Dave Hole was the PDRA on this project. Dave Hole now works for CI in Washington, USA.
5) Climate change impacts on protected areas across Europe
Collaborators: BirdLife Europe, RSPB
Dr Yvonne Collingham was the PDRA on this project.
6) A stable isotope approach to trace the unknown breeding grounds of the Slender-billed Curlew
Collaborators: RSPB, Northern Centre for Isotopic and Elemental Tracing (NCIET)
7) The potential costs of climate change to ecotourism revenue in Africa
Collaborators: University of Stirling
Georgina Palmer worked on this project for her research MSc
8) Using climate envelope models to simulate migrant bird distributions on breeding and non-breeding ranges: Applications and validation at fine spatial scales
Funding: Durham University
Collaborators: University of St Andrews
Mark Boyd worked on this project for a research MSc
9) Incorporating climatic change into the selection of priority areas for conservation
Collaborators: BirdLife International
George Frater worked on this project for his research MSc
- Huntley, B., Green, Rhys E., Collingham, Yvonne C. & Willis, Stephen G. (2007). A climatic atlas of European breeding birds. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
- Willis, SG. (2006). The new standard text for fledgling ornithologists. Global Ecology and Biogeography 15: 318-319.
- Huntley,B., Hole, D.G. & Willis, S.G. (2011). Assessing the effectiveness of a protected area network in the face of climatic change. In Climate Change, Ecology and Systematics. Hodkinson, Jones, Waldren & Parnell. Cambridge University Press. Systematics Association Special Volume Series.
- Willis, SG, Hole, DG & Huntley, B (2010). Climate change and conservation. In Trade-offs in conservation: Deciding what to save. Leader-Williams, N, Adams, B & Smith, R. Blackwell. Conservation Science and Practice Series.
- Rogers, DJ, Randolph, SE, Lindsay, SW & Willis, SG (2008). Vector-borne diseases. In Health effects of climate change in the UK. Department of Health and Health Protection Agency Crown Publishing.
- Lindsay, SW & Willis, SG (2006). Predicting future areas suitable for vivax malaria in the United Kingdom. Chapter in. In Foresight; Infectious diseases: Preparing for the future. Office of Science and Innovation, London.
- B. Huntley, R. Baxter, Y. C. Collingham, S. G. Willis & M. Sykes (2003). Insights on synergies: models and methods. In Climate Change and Biodiversity. Lovejoy & Hannah Yale University Press. pp15-23.
- Overpeck, J., Whitlock, C., Huntley, B., Bartlein, PJ., Collingham, YC., Grimm, EC., Webb, TI., Williams, JW. & Willis, SW. (2003). Terrestrial biosphere dynamics in the climate system: past and future. In Palaeoclimate, global change and the future. Springer.
- Hulme, PE., Crawley, M., Hofgaard, A., Huntley, B., Lurtz, P., O'Connell, M., Rushton, S., Schaffner, U., Sykes, M., Vila, M., Watt, A. & Willis, SG. (2000). Alien species and outbreaking species in ecosystems. In Terrestrial ecosystem research in Europe: successes, challenges and policy. M.A. Sutton, J.M. Moreno, W.H. van der Putten & S. Struwe European Communities. 44-48.
- Willis, SG., Hulme, PE. & Huntley, B. (1997). Habitat suitability and the distribution of alien weeds of riparian ecosystems. In Species dispersal and land-use processes. A. Cooper & J. Power IALE (UK). 37-44.
- Wadsworth, RA., Swetnam, RD. & Willis, SG. (1997). Seeds and sediment: modelling the spread of Impatiens glandulifera Royle. In Species dispersal and land-use processes. A. Cooper & J. Power IALE (UK). 53-60.
Journal papers: academic
- Voskamp, A., Baker, D.J., Stephens, P.A., Valdes, P.J. & Willis, S.G. (Submitted). Correlates of global avian phylogenetic diversity. Journal of Biogeography
- O'Mahoney, N., Stephens, P.A., Baker, D.J., Pearce-Higgins, J. & Willis, S.G. (Planned). How to select absence data for species distribution models. TBC
- Baker, D.J., Hartley, A.J., Butchart, S.H.M. & Willis, S.G. (Planned). Uncertainty in historic climate data and its effect on projected avian responses to climate change. Global Change Biology
- Sanderson, F.J., Pople, R.G., Leronymidou, C. Burfield, I.J., Gregory, R.D., Willis, S.G., Howard, C., Stephens, P.A., Beresford, A.E. & Donald, P.F. (2016). Assessing the performance of EU nature legislation in protecting target bird species in an era of climate change. Conservation Letters 9(3): 172-180.
- Baker, D.J., Hartley, A.J., Burgess, N.D., Butchart, S.H.M., Carr, J.A., Smith, R.J., Belle, E. & Willis, S.G. (2015). Assessing climate change impacts for vertebrate fauna across the West African protected area network using regionally appropriate climate projections. Diversity and Distributions 21(9): 991-1003.
- Willis, S.G. , Foden, W., Baker, D.J., Belle, E., Burgess, N.D., Carr, J.A., Doswald, N., Garcia, R.A., Hartley, A., Hof, C., Newbold, T., Rahbek, C., Smith, R.J., Visconti, P., Young, B. & Butchart, S.H.M. (2015). Integrating climate change vulnerability assessments from species distribution modelling and traits based approaches. Biological Conservation 190: 167-178.
- Palmer, G., Stephens, P.A., Ward, A.I. & Willis, S.G. (2015). Nationwide trophic cascades: changes in avian community structure driven by ungulates. Scientific Reports 5: 15601
- Bassi, E., Willis, S.G., Passilongo, D., Mattioli, L. & Apollonio, M. (2015). Predicting the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) breeding areas in a mountainous region of central Italy. PloS One 10(6): e0124698.
- Howard, C., Stephens, P.A., Pearce-Higgins, J., Gregory, R.D. & Willis, S.G. (2015). The drivers of avian abundance: patterns in the relative importance of climate and land use. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24(11): 1249-1260.
- Hindle, B., Kerr, C., Richards, S.A. & Willis, S.G. (2015). Topographical variation reduces phenological mismatch between a butterfly and its nectar source. Journal of Insect Conservation 19(2): 227-236.
- Runge, C.A., Martin, T.G., Possingham, H.P., Willis, S.G. & Fuller, R.A. (2014). Conserving mobile species. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12(7): 395-402.
- Howard, Christine, Stephens, Philip A., Pearce-Higgins, James W., Gregory, Richard D. & Willis, Stephen G. (2014). Improving species distribution models: the value of data on abundance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5(6): 506-513.
- Mason, T.H.E., Stephens, P.A., Apollonio, M. & Willis, S.G. (2014). Predicting potential responses to future climate in an alpine ungulate: interspecific interactions exceed climate effects. Global Change Biology 20(12): 3872-3882.
- Bagchi, R., Crosby, M., Huntley, B., Hole, D.G., Butchart, S., Collingham, Y.C., Kalra, M., Rajkumar, J., Rahmani, A., Pandey, M., Gurung, H., Trai, T., Van Quang, N. & Willis, S.G. (2013). Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation site networks under climate change: accounting for uncertainty. Global Change Biology 19(4): 1236-1248.
- Phipps, W.L., Willis, S.G., Wolter, K. & Naidoo, V. (2013). Foraging ranges of immature African white-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) and their use of protected areas in southern Africa. PLoS One 8(1): e52813.
- Mason, T.H.E., Stephens, P.A., Willis, S.G., Chirichella, R., Apollonio, M. & Richards, S.A. (2012). Intraseasonal variation in reproductive effort: young males finish last. The American Naturalist 180(6): 823-830.
- Davis, M.L., Stephens, P.A., Willis, S.G., Bassi, E., Marcon, A., Donaggio, E., Capitani, C. & Apollonio, M. (2012). Prey Selection by an Apex Predator: The Importance of Sampling Uncertainty. Plos One 7(10): e47894.
- Mason, T.H.E., Chirichella, R., Richards, S.A., Stephens, P.A., Willis, S.G. & Apollonio, M. (2011). Contrasting life histories in neighbouring populations of a large mammal. PLoS ONE 6(11): e28002.
- Pearce-Higgins, J., Bradbury, R.B., Chamberlain, D., Drewitt, A., Langston, R. & Willis, S.G. (2011). Targeting research to underpin climate change adaptation for birds. Ibis 152: 207-211.
- D.G. Hole, B. Huntley, J. Arinaitwe, S.H.M. Butchart, Y.C. Collingham, L.D.C. Fishpool, D.J. Pain & S.G. Willis (2011). Towards a management framework for key biodiversity networks in the face of climatic change. Conservation Biology 25(2): 305-315.
- Lindsay, S.W., Hole, D.G., Hutchinson, R.A., Richards, S.A. & Willis, S.G. (2010). Assessing the future threat from vivax malaria in the United Kingdom using two markedly different modelling approaches. Malaria Journal 9: 70.
- B. Huntley, P. Barnard, R. Altwegg, L. Chambers, B.W.T. Coetzee, L. Gibson, P.A.R. Hockey, D.G. Hole, G.F. Midgley, L.G. Underhill & S.G. Willis (2010). Beyond bioclimatic envelopes: Dynamic species’ range and abundance modelling in the context of climatic change. Ecography 33(3): 621-626.
- Gregory, R.D. Willis, S.G., Jiguet, F. Voříšek, P. Klvaňová, A. van Strien, A. Huntley, B. Collingham, Y.C. Couvet, D. & Green, R.E. (2009). An indicator of the impact of climatic change on European bird populations. PLoS One 4(3): e4678.
- S.G. Willis, J.K. Hill, C.D. Thomas, D.B. Roy, R. Fox, D.S. Blakeley & B. Huntley (2009). Assisted colonization in a changing climate: A test-study using two UK butterflies. Conservation Letters 2(1): 46-52.
- Willis, S.G., Thomas, C.D., Hill, J.K., Collingham, Y.C., Telfer, M., Fox, R. & Huntley, B. (2009). Dynamic distribution modelling: predicting the present from the past. Ecography 32: 5-12.
- N. Doswald, S.G. Willis, Y.C. Collingham, D.J. Pain, R.E. Green & B. Huntley (2009). Potential impacts of climatic change on the breeding and non-breeding ranges and migration distance of European Sylvia warblers. Journal of Biogeography 36(6): 1194-1208.
- Hole, D.G., Willis, S.G., Pain, D.J., Fishpool, L.D., Butchart, S.H.M., Collingham,Y.C., Rahbek, C. & Huntley, B. (2009). Projected impacts of climate change on a continental-scale protected area network. Ecology Letters 12(5): 420-431.
- Willis, S.G., Hole, D.G., Collingham, Y.C., Hilton, G., Rahbek, C. & Huntley, B. (2008). Assessing the impacts of future climate change on protected area networks: A method to simulate individual species responses. Environmental Management 43: 836-845.
- Green, R.E., Collingham, Y.C., Willis, S.G., Gregory, R.D., Smith, K.W. & Huntley, B. (2008). Performance of climate envelope models in retrodicting recent changes in bird populations from observed climatic change. Biology Letters 4: 599-602.
- Huntley, B. Collingham, Y.C., Willis, S.G. & Green, R.E. (2008). Potential impacts of climatic change on European breeding birds. PLoSOne 3(1): e1439.
- Lindsay, S.W., Hole, D.G., Hutchinson R. & Willis, S.G. (2007). Future threat from vivax malaria in the United Kingdom. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 77(5): 170-170.
- Font, L., Nowell, GM., Pearson, DG., Ottley, C. & Willis, SG. (2007). Sr isotope analysis of bird feathers by TIMS: a tool to trace bird migration paths and breeding sites. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 22(5): 513 - 522.
- Willis, S.G., Collingham, Y.C., Hilton, G., Green, R.E., Rahbek, C. & Huntley, B. (2007). Will the African Important Bird Areas network remain viable under a changing climate? Ostrich 78: 171-171.
- Huntley, B., Collingham, YC., Green, RE., Hilton, GM., Rahbek, C. & Willis, SG. (2006). Potential impacts of climatic change upon geographical distributions of birds. Ibis 148: 8-28.
- Menendez, R., Gonzalez-Megias, A., Hill, J.K., Braschler, B., Willis, S.G., Collingham, Y.C., Fox, R., Roy, D.B. & Thomas, C.D. (2006). Species richness changes lag behind climate. Proceedings Of The Royal Society Of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273: 1465-1470.
- Willis, SG & Hulme, PE (2004). Environmental severity and variation in the reproductive traits of Impatiens glandulifera. Functional Ecology 18(6): 887-898.
- Huntley, B, Green, RE, Collingham, YC, Hill, JK, Willis, SG, Bartlein, PJ, Cramer, W, Hagemeijer, WJM & Thomas, CJ (2004). The performance of models relating species geographical distributionsto climate is independent of trophic level. Ecology Letters 7(5): 417-426.
- Willis, SG & Hulme, PE (2002). Does temperature limit the invasion of Impatiens glandulifera and Heracleum mantegazzianum in the UK?. Functional Ecology 16(4): 530-539.
- J.K. Hill, C.D. Thomas, R. Fox, M.G. Telfer, S.G. Willis, J. Asher & B. Huntley (2002). Responses of butterflies to twentieth century climate warming: implications for future ranges. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 269(1505): 2163-2171.
- Warren, MS, Hill, JK, Thomas, JA, Asher, J, Fox, R, Huntley, B, Roy, DB, Telfer, MG, Jeffcoate, S, Harding, P, Jeffcoate, G, Willis, SG, Greatorex-Davies, JN, Moss, D & Thomas, CD (2001). Rapid responses of British butterflies to opposing forces of climate and habitat change. Nature 414(6859): 65-69.
- Wadsworth, RA, Collingham, YC, Willis, SG, Huntley, B & Hulme, PE (2000). Simulating the spread and management of alien riparian weeds: are they out of control?. Journal Of Applied Ecology 37: 28-38.
- Huntley, B, Baxter, R, Lewthwaite, KJ, Willis, SG & Adamson, JK (1998). Vegetation responses to local climatic changes induced by a water-storage reservoir. Global Ecology And Biogeography Letters 7(4): 241-257.