Portrait of Professor Zoe Davies

Professor Zoe Davies

Professor of Biodiversity Conservation


Professor Zoe Davies gained a BSc in Zoology at Royal Holloway, University of London before studying for her PhD at the University of Leeds. After gaining her doctorate, she worked first as a systematic reviewer at the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation (CEBC) in Birmingham and then joined the Biodiversity and Macroecology Group (BIOME) at the University of Sheffield to conduct postdoctoral research. In 2010 she was appointed lecturer at the University of Kent and is now Professor of Biodiversity Conservation. 

Professor Zoe Davies is a member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Research interests

Professor Zoe Davies has diverse research interests, crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries but focusing on the use of empirical data to address questions of importance to conservation management and policy. They can be summarised into the following key themes:

Conservation practice and policy

  • Conservation planning, implementation and protected area development
  • Assessing the effectiveness of conservation interventions, policies and initiatives
  • Patterns of conservation finance and investment
  • Relationships between biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem goods/services

Biodiversityhuman wellbeing relationships

  • Human wellbeing benefits derived from experiencing biodiversity
  • People’s attitudes, perceptions and values associated with biodiversity

Impacts of environmental change

  • Patterns of urbanisation and environmental space infrastructure
  • Species and assemblage responses to habitat fragmentation, climate change and urbanisation
  • Designing and managing urban areas
  • Managing urban areas to maintain/enhance ecosystem service provision
  • Population dynamics of species utilising resources distributed across multiple landscapes (eg summer and winter ranges for migratory insects)


Professor Davies is not teaching this academic year as she is working full-time on a number of research projects.



  • Jessica Fisher: Benefits of biodiversity: human–nature interactions in urban Guyana (primary supervisor)
  • Will Hayes: Predicting and navigating future discord between gold mining and other livelihoods in Guyana's rainforest (co-supervisor)
  • Michaela Lo: Forecasting the impact of land use change on human well-being in central Indonesia (primary supervisor)
  • Claire Stewart: Modelling future scenarios for conservation land-use in England (co-supervisor)
  • Rachel Sykes: Measuring the effectiveness of the global protected area network: how much is enough and how close are we? (co-supervisor)


  • Nicolas Deere: Biodiversity and carbon cobenefits across a human-modified tropical landscape (co-supervisor)
  • Aidan Mackay: Assessing the impact of the introduction of marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus) on native anurans in Kent (co-supervisor)
  • Simon Mitchell: The value of riparian strips for tropical birds and bats (co-supervisor)
  • Tristan Pett: The benefits of biodiversity: understanding human–wildlife interactions in urban environments (primary supervisor)


  • Natural England Science Advisory Committee (2017 to date)
  • British Ecological Society Meetings Committee Chair (2015 to date)
  • Aurora ‘Women’s HE Leadership Development Programme’ Mentor (2015 to date)
  • British Ecological Society Council (2014 to date)
  • Conservation Biology Handling Editor (2014 to date)
  • British Ecological Society Meetings Committee Member (2014 to date)
  • British Ecological Society Public and Policy Committee Member (2012 to date)
  • British Ecological Society ‘Women in Science’ Mentor (2011 to date)
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