Professor Jim Groombridge
Professor of Biodiversity Conservation
Conservation genetics and ecology of small populations; evolutionary genetics, phylogenetics and biogeography.
- - J.Groombridge@kent.ac.uk
- - 01227 (82)4097
School Roles and Responsibilities
Head of School
My research interests lie primarily in population restoration, population and disease ecology, conservation genetics, genomics, and evolutionary studies involving phylogeny reconstruction. A central focus is the theoretical and practical aspects of endangered species conservation and the application of population, genetic, morphological and phylogenetic studies to enhance our understanding of the biological processes that guide the conservation trajectory of endangered species. Alongside this work, we also utilise similar approaches to understand the evolutionary processes of invasive alien species, many of which can be expected to have population profiles that show strong population growth following initial small population size at foundation. These two themes are complimentary: indeed, much of what we can learn about how populations of invasive alien species function can be applied to the conservation of endangered species.
My background of conservation work on island species in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius and Seychelles) and the Pacific (Hawaiian islands) has combined the practice of field monitoring and population recovery techniques with the more theoretical approaches of evolutionary phylogenetics and conservation genetics at the population level.
My research group focuses on the evolution, population genetics and conservation of endangered populations, with a particular emphasis on endemic island species. Islands are justifiably celebrated as living laboratories for evolutionary studies as well as a focus for efforts to conserve their biodiversity. Valuable insights for conservation can be gained from studying island endemics in view of their history of isolation from ancestral mainland populations, together with the problems they can encounter from invasive alien species and diseases.
My work is supported by my research group who primarily work out of our Conservation Genetics Lab.back to top
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
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- DI1001 - Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation
- DI836 - Integrated Species Conservation and Management
Island Species-Led Action (ISLA): I teach conservation genetics on this two week course, which has been run each year by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust; Jersey (2004), St. Lucia (2005), Galapagos (2006), Mauritius (2007), Guam (2008). The 2009 course was held in Fiji. Further information on Durrell's other courses is available here.
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My genetics research group focuses on conservation genetics, genomics, disease ecology and ecological and evolutionary studies involving endangered species, invasive alien species and other wildlife populations, as well as extinct species and reconstruction of evolutionary history amongst species and populations using molecular DNA markers. For detailed information on the group, research projects, funding, members, collaborations and facilities visit our laboratory webpage.
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Current PhD / Research students
- Hadi Al-Hikmani, DICE, Population and Conservation Genetics of Arabian Leopards
- Andrew Buxton, DICE, Optimising the use of environmental DNA for the survey of Great Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus)
- Debbie Fogell, DICE, Molecular Evolution of Beak and Feather Disease Virus in Endangered Mauritius Parakeets
- Jessica Haysom, DICE, Borneo's Arboreal Mammals: Diversity and Vulnerability to Habitat Change
- Helena Turner, DICE, Population Status and Conservation of the Critically Endangered Bermuda Rock Lizard (Plestiodon Longirostris).
Past PhD / Research students
- Dr M. Abdul Aziz, DICE, Conservation and Population Genetics of Bengal Tigers
- Dr Rachel Bristol, DICE. Ecology, conservation genetics and restoration of the critically-endangered Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, and a comparison of the evolutionary history of Indian Ocean flycatchers.
- Claire Browne, DICE, Genetic variation of native white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) populations across south-east England.
- Dr Hazel Jackson, DICE. Population genetics of invasive species: characterising population genetic history and disease prevalence in the introduced population of ringneck parakeets (Psittacula krameri) in the UK.
- Dr Jim Labisko, DICE, Amphibians on the EDGE: Evolutionary relationships and conservation ecology of sooglossid frogs, in the Seychelles.
- Dr Hanna Mounce, DICE. Recovery of the endangered Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill, Pseudonestor xanthophrys): population dynamics, conservation genetics and strategies for reintroduction.
- Dr Jamie Taylor, DICE, RAD-sequencing and SNP genotyping to examine adaptation in globally invasive parakeets.
- Dr Simon Tollington, DICE, Inbreeding, immune function and disease in endemic and bird populations on Mauritius. NERC Studentship. Collaboration with Mauritius Wildlife Foundation and Wildlife Vets International (CASE partner)
- Faye Willman, DICE, Conservation genetics of the endangered Mauritius pink pigeon (Columba mayeri): a global metapopulation approach for long-term genetic management.
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Current member of NERC Peer Review College
Previous review board editor for the journal Endangered Species Research
Previous Associate Editor for Conservation Genetics
External Examiner for MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford (2015-2018)back to top