School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach



Professor Jim Groombridge

Professor of Biodiversity Conservation

Conservation genetics and ecology of small populations; evolutionary genetics, phylogenetics and biogeography.


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School Roles and Responsibilities

Head of School; Programme Convenor for Conservation Project Management

Academic Background

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.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

H. Mounce, Warren, C., McGowan, C., Paxton, E., and Groombridge, J., "Extinction risk and conservation options for Maui Parrotbill, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper", Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management. Scientific Journals, 2018 [Online]. Available:
A. Buxton, Groombridge, J., and Griffiths, R., "Seasonal variation in environmental DNA detection in sediment and water samples", PlosOne, vol. 13. Public Library of Science, p. e0191737, 2018 [Online]. Available:
O. Davies, Huggins, A., Begue, J., Groombridge, J., Jones, C., Norfolk, D., Steward, P., Tatayah, V., Zuël, N., and Ewen, J., "Reintroduction or natural colonisation? Using cost-distance analysis to inform decisions about Rodrigues Island Fody and Warbler reintroductions", Animal Conservation. Wiley, 2017 [Online]. Available:
A. Buxton, Groombridge, J., Zakaria, N., and Griffiths, R., "Seasonal variation in environmental DNA in relation to population size and environmental factors", Scientific Reports, vol. 7. p. , 2017 [Online]. Available:
K. Booth Jones, Nicoll, M., Raisin, C., Dawson, D., Hipperson, H., Horsburgh, G., Groombridge, J., Ismar, S., Sweet, P., Jones, C., Tatayah, V., Ruhomaun, K., and Norris, K., "Widespread gene flow between oceans in a pelagic seabird species complex", Molecular Ecology, vol. 26. Wiley, pp. 5716-5728, 2017 [Online]. Available:
M. Aziz, Tollington, S., Barlow, A., Greenwood, C., Goodrich, J., Smith, O., Shamsuddoha, M., Islam, M., and Groombridge, J., "Using non-invasively collected genetic data to estimate density and population size of tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans", Global Ecology and Conservation, vol. 12. Elsevier, pp. 272-282, 2017 [Online]. Available:
A. Buxton, Groombridge, J., and Griffiths, R., "Is the detection of aquatic environmental DNA influenced by substrate type?", PLOS ONE, vol. 12. Public Library of Science, p. e0183371, 2017 [Online]. Available:
H. Jackson, Bunbury, N., Przelomska, N., and Groombridge, J., "Evolutionary distinctiveness and historical decline in genetic diversity in the Seychelles Black Parrot Coracopsis nigra barklyi", Ibis. Wiley, pp. 1-15, 2016 [Online]. Available:
D. Fogell, Martin, R., and Groombridge, J., "Beak and feather disease virus in wild and captive parrots: an analysis of geographic and taxonomic distribution and methodological trends", Archives of Virology. Springer, pp. 1-16, 2016 [Online]. Available:
M. Aziz, Tollington, S., Barlow, A., Goodrich, J., Shamsuddoha, M., Islam, M., and Groombridge, J., "Investigating patterns of tiger and prey poaching in the Bangladesh Sundarbans: Implications for improved management", Global Ecology and Conservation, vol. 9. Elsevier, pp. 70-81, 2016 [Online]. Available:
E. Mori, Ancillotto, L., Groombridge, J., Howard, T., Smith, V., and Menchetti, M., "Macroparasites of introduced parakeets in Italy: a possible role for parasite-mediated competition", Parasitology Research, vol. 114. Springer, pp. 3277-3281, 2015 [Online]. Available:
J. Maldonado, Michaelides, S., Cornish, N., Griffiths, R., Groombridge, J., Zajac, N., Walters, G., Aubret, F., While, G., and Uller, T., "Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of the Common Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, on Islands at Its Northern Range", PLOS ONE, vol. 10. Public Library of Science, p. e0117113, 2015 [Online]. Available:
M. Bobadilla Suarez, Ewen, J., Groombridge, J., Beckmann, K., Shotton, J., Masters, N., Hopkins, T., and Sainsbury, A., "Using Qualitative Disease Risk Analysis for Herpetofauna Conservation Translocations Transgressing Ecological and Geographical Barriers", EcoHealth, vol. 14. Springer, pp. 47-60, 2015 [Online]. Available:
S. Tollington, Greenwood, A., Jones, C., Hoeck, P., Chowrimootoo, A., Smith, D., Richards, H., Tatayah, V., and Groombridge, J., "Detailed monitoring of a small but recovering population reveals sublethal effects of disease and unexpected interactions with supplemental feeding", Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 84. Wiley, pp. 969-977, 2015 [Online]. Available:
H. Jackson, Jones, C., Agapow, P., Tatayah, V., and Groombridge, J., "Micro-evolutionary diversification among Indian Ocean parrots: temporal and spatial changes in phylogenetic diversity as a consequence of extinction and invasion", Ibis, vol. 157. pp. 496-510, 2015 [Online]. Available:
S. Tollington, Turbe, A., Rabitsch, W., Groombridge, J., Scalera, R., Essl, F., Roy, H., and Shwartz, A., "Making the EU legislation on invasive species a conservation success", Conservation Letters, vol. 10. Wiley, pp. 112-120, 2015 [Online]. Available:
H. Mounce, Raisin, C., Leonard, D., Wickenden, H., Swinnerton, K., and Groombridge, J., "Spatial genetic architecture of the critically-endangered Maui Parrotbill (Pseudonestor xanthophrys): management considerations for reintroduction strategies", Conservation Genetics, vol. 16. pp. 71-84, 2015 [Online]. Available:
H. Jackson, Strubbe, D., Tollington, S., Prys-Jones, R., Matthysen, E., and Groombridge, J., "Ancestral origins and invasion pathways in a globally invasive bird correlate with climate and influences from bird trade", Molecular Ecology, vol. 24. Wiley, pp. 4269-4285, 2015 [Online]. Available:
J. Crommenacker, Bourgeois, Y., Warren, B., Jackson, H., Fleischer-Dogley, F., Groombridge, J., and Bunbury, N., "Using molecular tools to guide management of invasive alien species: assessing the genetic impact of a recently introduced island bird population", Diversity and Distributions, vol. 21. Wiley, pp. 1414-1427, 2015 [Online]. Available:
D. Strubbe, Jackson, H., Groombridge, J., and Matthysen, E., "Invasion success of a global avian invader is explained by within-taxon niche structure and association with humans in the native range", Diversity and Distributions, vol. 21. Wiley, pp. 675-685, 2015 [Online]. Available:
S. Buckland, Cole, N., Groombridge, J., Küpper, C., Burke, T., Dawson, D., Gallagher, L., and Harris, S., "High Risks of Losing Genetic Diversity in an Endemic Mauritian Gecko: Implications for Conservation", PLoS ONE. Public Library of Science, p. e93387, 2014 [Online]. Available:
H. Mounce, Iknayan, K., Leonard, D., Swinnerton, K., and Groombridge, J., "Management implications derived from long term re-sight data: annual survival of the Maui Parrotbill Pseudonestor xanthophrys", Bird Conservation International, vol. 24. pp. 316-326, 2014 [Online]. Available:
R. Bristol, Fraser, I., Groombridge, J., and Veríssimo, D., "An economic analysis of species conservation and translocation for island communities: the Seychelles paradise flycatchers as a case study", Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, vol. 3. pp. 237-252, 2014 [Online]. Available:
J. Ewen, Walker, L., Canessa, S., and Groombridge, J., "Improving supplementary feeding in species conservation", Conservation Biology, vol. 29. Wiley, pp. 341-349, 2014 [Online]. Available:
H. Jackson, Morgan, B., and Groombridge, J., "How closely do measures of mitochondrial DNA control region diversity reflect recent trajectories of population decline in birds?", Conservation Genetics, vol. 14. Springer Netherlands, pp. 1291-1296, 2013 [Online]. Available:
R. Bristol, Fabre, P., Irestedt, M., Jønsson, K., Shah, N., Tatayah, V., Warren, B., and Groombridge, J., "Molecular phylogeny of the Indian Ocean Terpsiphone paradise flycatchers: Undetected evolutionary diversity revealed amongst island populations", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, vol. 67. Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, pp. 336-347, 2013 [Online]. Available:
S. Black, Groombridge, J., and Jones, C., "Using Better Management Thinking to Improve Conservation Effectiveness", ISRN Biodiversity, vol. 2013. pp. 1-8, 2013 [Online]. Available:
H. Mounce, Leonard, D., Swinnerton, K., Becker, C., Berthold, L., Iknayan, K., and Groombridge, J., "Determining productivity of Maui Parrotbills, an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper", Journal of Field Ornithology, vol. 84. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 32-39, 2013 [Online]. Available:
S. Simpson, Blampied, N., Peniche, G., Dozières, A., Blackett, T., Coleman, S., Cornish, N., and Groombridge, J., "Genetic structure of introduced populations: 120-year-old DNA footprint of historic introduction in an insular small mammal population", Ecology and Evolution, vol. 3. Wiley, pp. 614-628, 2013 [Online]. Available:
S. Buckland, Horsburgh, G., Dawson, D., Cole, N., Krupa, A., Gallagher, L., Henshaw, S., Groombridge, J., and Harris, S., "Isolation and characterisation of Mauritius lowland day gecko Phelsuma guimbeaui microsatellite loci", Conservation Genetics Resources, vol. 5. pp. 1013-1018, 2013 [Online]. Available:
R. Bristol, Tucker, R., Dawson, D., Horsburgh, G., Prys-Jones, R., Frantz, A., Krupa, A., Shah, N., Burke, T., and Groombridge, J., "Comparison of historical bottleneck effects and genetic consequences of re-introduction in a critically endangered island passerine", Molecular Ecology, vol. 22. Wiley Online Library, pp. 4644-4662, 2013 [Online]. Available:
S. Tollington, Jones, C., Greenwood, A., Tatayah, V., Raisin, C., Burke, T., Dawson, D., and Groombridge, J., "Long-term, fine-scale temporal patterns of genetic diversity in the restored Mauritius parakeet reveal genetic impacts of management and associated demographic effects on reintroduction programmes", Biological Conservation, vol. 161. Elsevier, pp. 28-38, 2013 [Online]. Available:
J. Groombridge, Fabre, P., Irestedt, M., Fjelsda, J., Bristol, R., Irham, M., and Jonsson, K., "Dynamic colonization exchanges between continents and islands drive diversification in paradise-flycatchers (Terpsiphone, Monarchidae)", Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39. Wiley Online Library, pp. 1900-1918, 2012 [Online]. Available:
M. Taylor, Bunbury, N., Chong-Seng, L., Doak, N., Kundu, S., Griffiths, R., and Groombridge, J., "Evidence for evolutionary distinctiveness of a newly discovered population of sooglossid frogs on Praslin Island, Seychelles", Conservation Genetics, vol. 13. pp. 557-566, 2012 [Online]. Available:
U. Paredes, Prys-Jones, R., Adams, M., Groombridge, J., Kundu, S., Agapow, P., and Abel, R., "Micro-CT X-rays do not fragment DNA in preserved bird skins", Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, vol. 50. pp. 247-250, 2012 [Online]. Available:
S. Kundu, Faulkes, C., Greenwood, A., Jones, C., Kaiser, P., Lyne, O., Black, S., Chowrimootoo, A., and Groombridge, J., "Tracking Viral Evolution during a Disease Outreak: the Rapid and Complete Selective Sweep of a Circovirus in the Endangered Echo Parakeet", Journal of Virology, vol. 86. pp. 5221-5221, 2012 [Online]. Available:
C. Raisin, Frantz, A., Kundu, S., Greenwood, A., Jones, C., Zuel, N., and Groombridge, J., "Genetic consequences of intensive conservation management for the Mauritius parakeet", Conservation Genetics, vol. 13. pp. 707-715, 2012 [Online]. Available:
R. Pickles, Groombridge, J., Rojas, V., Van Damme, P., Gottelli, D., Ariani, C., and Jordan, W., "Genetic diversity and population structure in the endangered giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis", Conservation Genetics, vol. 13. pp. 235-245, 2012 [Online]. Available:
S. Kundu, Jones, C., Prys-Jones, R., and Groombridge, J., "The evolution of the Indian Ocean parrots (Psittaciformes): Extinction, adaptive radiation and eustacy", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, vol. 62. Elsevier, pp. 296-305, 2011 [Online]. Available:
N. Jenner, Groombridge, J., and Funk, S., "Commuting, territoriality and variation in group and territory size in a black-backed jackal population reliant on a clumped, abundant food resource in Namibia", Journal of Zoology, vol. 284. Cambridge Uni Press, pp. 231-238, 2011 [Online]. Available:
R. Pickles, Groombridge, J., Zambrana Rojas, V., Van Damme, P., Gottelli, D., Kundu, S., Bodmer, R., Ariani, C., Iyengar, A., and Jordan, W., "Evolutionary history and identification of conservation units in the giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, vol. 61. pp. 616-627, 2011 [Online]. Available:
S. Black, Meredith, H., and Groombridge, J., "Biodiversity conservation: Applying new criteria to assess excellence", Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, vol. 22. pp. 1165-1178, 2011 [Online]. Available:
S. Black, Groombridge, J., and Jones, C., "Leadership and conservation effectiveness: finding a better way to lead", Conservation Letters, vol. 4. pp. 329-339, 2011 [Online]. Available:
S. Black and Groombridge, J., "Use of a Business Excellence Model to Improve Conservation Programs", Conservation Biology, vol. 24. pp. 1448-1458, 2010 [Online]. Available:
D. Becker, Massey, G., Groombridge, J., and Hammond, R., "Moving I`iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) as a Surrogate for Future Translocations of Endangered `Akohekohe (Palmeria dolei)". PACIFIC COOPERATIVE STUDIES UNIT UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I AT MĀNOA, Department of Botany 3190 Maile Way, St. John #408 Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822, 2010.
D. Veríssimo, Fraser, I., Groombridge, J., Bristol, R., and MacMillan, D., "Birds as tourism flagship species: a case study of tropical islands.", Animal Conservation, vol. 12. The Zoological Society of London, pp. 549-558, 2009 [Online]. Available:
J. Groombridge, Dawson, D., Burke, T., Prys-Jones, R., de L. Brooke, M., and Shah, N., "Evaluating the demographic history of the Seychelles kestrel (Falco araea): genetic evidence for recovery from a population bottleneck following minimal conservation management.", Biological Conservation, vol. 142. Elsevier, pp. 2250-2257, 2009 [Online]. Available:
R. Pickles, Groombridge, J., Zambrana Rojas, V., and Jordan, W., "Cross-species characterisation of polymorphic microsatellite loci in the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis).", Molecular Ecology Resources, vol. 9. Blackwell, pp. 415-417, 2009 [Online]. Available:
C. Raisin, Dawson, D., Greenwood, A., Jones, C., and Groombridge, J., "Characterization of Mauritius parakeet (Psittacula eques) microsatellite loci and their cross-utility in other parrots (Psittacidae, Aves).", Molecular Ecology Resources, vol. 9. Blackwell, pp. 1231-1235, 2009 [Online]. Available:
S. Black, Yamaguchi, N., Harland, A., and Groombridge, J., "Maintaining the genetic health of putative Barbary lions in captivity: an analysis of Moroccan Royal Lions.", European Journal of Wildlife Research, vol. 56. Springer, pp. 21-31, 2009 [Online]. Available:
Book section
J. Groombridge, Raisin, C., Bristol, R., and Richardson, D., "Genetic Consequences of Reintroductions and Insights from Population History", in Reintroduction Biology: Integrating Science and Management, J. G. Ewen, Armstrong, D. P., Parker, K. A., and Seddon, P. J., Eds. John Wiley and Sons, 2012, pp. 395-440 [Online]. Available:
J. Groombridge, "Po`o-uli", in Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implications for Island Avifauna, T. K. Pratt, Atkinson, C. T., Banko, P. C., Jacobi, J. D., and Woodworth, B. L., Eds. USA: Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 487-498.
M. Aziz, Smith, O., Barlow, A., Tollington, S., Islam, M., and Groombridge, J., "Do rivers influence fine-scale population genetic structure of tigers in the Sundarbans?", Conservation Genetics. Springer, 2018.
D. Fogell, Martin, R., Bunbury, N., Lawson, B., Sells, J., McKeand, A., Tatayah, V., Trung, C., and Groombridge, J., "Detection of Beak and feather disease virus in native and introduced parrots and consequent implications for conservation and the pet bird trade", Conservation Biology. Wiley, 2018.
A. Buxton, Groombridge, J., and Griffiths, R., "Comparison of two Citizen Scientist Methods for Collecting Pond Water Samples for Environmental DNA Studies", Ctizen Science: Theory and Practice. Citizen Science Association, 2018.
Showing 55 of 72 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]





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ISLA group in Fiji 2009

BSc in Wildlife Conservation

  • DI521 - Species Conservation
  • DI503 - Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation

MSc in Conservation Biology

  • DI1001 - Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Conservation
  • DI836 - Integrated Species Conservation and Management


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Research group 2015

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
  • Kate Allberry, DICE, How is environmental change influencing the movement of Malaysia's apex predators in wildlife corridors?
  • 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
  • Jack Slattery, DICE, Feasibility of reintroducing the red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) to Kent
  • 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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Jim Groombridge with Fijian boa

External Examiner for MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford (2015-2018)

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School of Anthropology and Conservation - © University of Kent

School of Anthropology and Conservation, Marlowe Building, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR, T: +44 (0)1227 827056

Last Updated: 25/01/2018