Portrait of Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos

Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos

Reader in Landscape Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation
Academic Head Geography and Human Ecology
Deputy Director of Graduate Studies
Co-Director, Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS)


Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos is a landscape ecologist working on biodiversity conservation, using a landscape approach that integrates ecological, geographic and socio-economic aspects in order to monitor and assess the impacts of policy scenarios on biodiversity and networks of protected areas. 

Joseph’s academic background is interdisciplinary, with a BSc in Agricultural Sciences from the Agricultural University of Athens, a PhD in vegetation ecology from Imperial College London, and more than 15 years of research experience, collaborating with economists, sociologists and rural geographers on major national and European-funded research projects in the field of biodiversity conservation. Prior to his appointment at Kent as a Lecturer in landscape and biodiversity conservation, Joseph worked as research fellow at Wye College, Imperial College London, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research (CAER) at the University of Reading.

Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos is a member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Research interests

  • Landscape ecology 
  • Reconciling biodiversity conservation and sustainable development on rural areas
  • Agricultural landscapes and rural geography
  • Land-use change, landscape fragmentation and land-use modelling 
  • Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing and spatial analysis
  • Interdisciplinary analysis of drivers of change in complex land-use systems
  • Scenario analysis and Sustainability Appraisal 
  • Nature conservation policy and governance
  • Vegetation ecology and Agroecology 

Research projects

  • LIFT : Low-Input Farming and Territories - Integrating knowledge for improving ecosystem-based farming (Horizon 2020)
  • Decision Making Tools for Long-Term Horizon Planning: The Land-Water Nexus (Southern Water)
  • The Catchment Capabilities Approach: Phase II (Southern Water) 
  • Great Crested Newts Modeling for the South Midlands (Arc-Trust) 
  • Great Crested Newt pilot project modelling for the Midlands (Arc-Trust) 
  • GIS analyses of the distribution of great crested newts in Kent in relation to land use categories and land management opportunities. (Natural England) 
  • The identification of models to improve decision-making processes relating to the impact of developments on Great Crested Newts (DEFRA) 
  • Analysis of the role of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy in creating jobs in UK rural areas. (University of Kent, Faculty Grant) 
  • Surveying and Assessing Oil Palm Use in Chimpanzees in Degraded Landscapes. (Funder: Arcus Foundation.) 
  • Structural and spatial implications of the financial crisis for the agricultural sector of Greece (University of Kent, Faculty Grant) 
  • Reviving socio-ecological landscapes for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation, (Darwin Project) 
  • 50 years, 50 stories: The dynamics of farms and farming in UKC’s backyard, 1965-2015, (University of Kent 50th Anniversary Fund) 
  • SCALES: Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal, and Ecological Scales (7th Framework) 
  • Priority Habitats, Protected Sites and Climate Change: Three Investigations to Inform Policy and Management for Adaptation and Mitigation (DEFRA) 
  • SOILSERVICE: Conflicting demands of land use, soil biodiversity and the sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services in Europe (7th Framework) 
  • The potential of the High Weald AONB to supply the food needs of its population under conventional and organic agriculture (Funded by High Weald AONB) 
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the NATURA 2000 network in Greece (Enter04 - project)
  • RELU nutrition: Implications of a nutrition driven food policy for land use and the rural environment (RELU) 
  • BioScene: Scenarios for reconciling biodiversity conservation with declining agricultural use in the mountains of Europe (5th Framework) 
  • SPIN: Spatial Indicators for Nature Conservation (5th Framework) 



  • DI530: Spatial Analysis: Principles and Methods (convenor)
  • DI1001:  Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation
  • SE315: Field Class: Sustainable Land Use Systems
  • SE308: Skills for Anthropology & Conservation


  • DI849: Principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (convenor)

Advanced Training  Kent Graduate School

  • Geographic Information System (GIS)


Current PhD students

  • Joana Viana Canelas: Indigenous contribution to ecological modelling for the assessment of ecosystem services (main supervisor)
  • Anthony Knight: (Im)possible cohabitation: Rewilding and pastoralism in contested French mountain ‘wilderness’ (co-supervisor)
  • Robin Lines: Assessing landscape connectivity in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (main supervisor)
  • Sally Marsh: Conserving natural beauty? AONB designation and landscape change in Kent and Sussex (1950’s – present) (main supervisor)
  • Peter Matthews: Sustainability performance of ecological approaches to farming at regional scale (main supervisor)
  • Luís Santiago: The value of sustainable use-protected areas for jaguar conservation


  • Nicola Abram: Designing a conservation corridor in an oil-palm-dominated landscape: applying an integrated, systematic conservation planning approach in Sabah, Borneo (main supervisor)
  • Lawrence Ball: The socio-ecological dynamics of overgrazing in the Dhofar Mountains of Oman (main supervisor)
  • Dimitrios Bormpoudakis: Green infrastructure and regional connectivity in Southeast England (main supervisor)
  • Valeria Boron: Conservation of medium-large mammals across agroecosystems in the neotropics (main supervisor)
  • Abraham Heinemann: Hunting: a multidimensional in-depth comparative study (co-supervisor)
  • Veronica Iniguez-Gallardo: Social perspectives on climate change (main supervisor)
  • Vilma Kuuliala: Stakeholder views on coastal and marine protected areas: wilderness experience and participatory management in coastal Scotland (co-supervisor)
  • Gloria Bravo Monroy: Ecological and social drivers of coffee pollination in Santander, Colombia (co-supervisor)
  • Maria Cifre Sabater: Forest fires, social conflict and environmental management in the Mediterranean Protected Area of Serra De Tramuntana, Mallorca (co-supervisor)
  • Alicia Said: Crossroads at sea: the artisanal fisheries in Malta since EU accession (co-supervisor)
  • Niki Rust: Using incentives to improve predator-friendly behaviour to benefit rural farmers and carnivores in Namibia (co-supervisor)
  • Anthony Turner: Soundscape ecology (main supervisor)
  • Nurulhuda Binti Zaharia: Assessing the status of amphibians in agricultural landscapes (co-supervisor)


 Member of the Editorial Board: Nature Conservation

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