School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach

Dr Matthew Struebig

Senior Lecturer in Biological Conservation

Environmental change; tropical biodiversity; spatial analysis; land-use policy


profile image for Dr Matthew Struebig

School Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Recruitment & Admissions; Employability and Placement Co-ordinator

Academic background

I am a tropical ecologist interested in the impacts of environmental change on biodiversity and the implications this has for landscape management and conservation planning. Much of my work is based in the modified habitats of Southeast Asia, and is applied to the conservation of tropical mammals. I joined DICE in 2010, initially as a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow.

My group work on various conservation issues in the tropics - including the biodiversity value of degraded habitats; landscape design; urban ecology and hunting. Our work is mainly funded by NERC, the Leverhulme Trust, the Newton Fund and Darwin Initiative.

Twitter: @mattstruebig

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

St. John, F. et al. (2018). Intention to kill: Tolerance and illegal persecution of sumatran tigers and sympatric species. Conservation Letters [Online] 11:e12451. Available at:
Struebig, M. et al. (2018). Addressing human-tiger conflict using socio-ecological information on tolerance and risk. Nature Communications [Online] 9. Available at:
Voigt, M. et al. (2018). Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans. Current Biology [Online] 28:761-769. Available at:
Mitchell,, S. et al. (2018). Riparian reserves help protect forest bird communities in oil palm dominated landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology [Online]. Available at:
Yi-Hann Lee, B., Davies, Z. and Struebig, M. (2017). Smoke pollution disrupted biodiversity during the 2015 El Niño fires in Southeast Asia. Environmental Research Letters [Online] 12. Available at:
Pfeifer, M. et al. (2017). Creation of forest edges has a global impact on forest vertebrates. Nature [Online] 551:187-191. Available at:
Seltmann, A. et al. (2017). Seasonal Fluctuations of Astrovirus, But Not Coronavirus Shedding in Bats Inhabiting Human-Modified Tropical Forests. EcoHealth [Online] 14:272-284. Available at:
Santika, T. et al. (2017). Community forest management in Indonesia: Avoided deforestation in the context of anthropogenic and climate complexities. Global Environmental Change [Online] 46:60-71. Available at:
Bicknell, J. et al. (2017). Designing protected area networks that translate international conservation commitments into national action. Biological Conservation [Online] 214:168-175. Available at:
Deere, N. et al. (2017). High carbon stock forests provide co-benefits for tropical biodiversity. Journal of Applied Ecology [Online] 55:997-1008. Available at:
Seltmann, A. et al. (2017). Habitat disturbance results in chronic stress and impaired health status in forest-dwelling paleotropical bats. Conservation Physiology [Online] 5. Available at:
Law, E. et al. (2016). Mixed policies give more options in multifunctional tropical forest landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology [Online]. Available at:
Hudson, L. et al. (2016). The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology and Evolution [Online] 7:145-188. Available at:
Law, E. et al. (2015). Ecosystem services from a degraded peatland of Central Kalimantan: implications for policy, planning, and management. Ecological Applications [Online] 25:70-87. Available at:
Bicknell, J. et al. (2015). Saving logged tropical forests: closing roads will bring immediate benefits. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment [Online] 13:73-74. Available at:
Struebig, M. et al. (2015). Targeted Conservation to Safeguard a Biodiversity Hotspot from Climate and Land-Cover Change. Current Biology [Online] 25:372-378. Available at:
Soisook, P. et al. (2015). Description of a New Species of theRhinolophus trifoliatus-Group (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) from Southeast Asia. Acta Chiropterologica [Online] 17:21-36. Available at:
Ewers, R. et al. (2015). Logging cuts the functional importance of invertebrates in tropical rainforest. Nature Communications [Online] 6:6836. Available at:
Book section
Meyer, C., Struebig, M. and Willig, M. (2016). Responses of tropical bats to habitat fragmentation, logging, and deforestation. in: Voigt, C. and Kingston, T. eds. Bats in the Anthropocene: conservation of bats in a changing world. Springer, pp. 63-103. Available at:
Edited book
Wich, S. et al. (2015). THE FUTURE OF THE BORNEAN ORANGUTAN: Impacts of change in land cover and climate. Wich, S. A. et al. eds. United Nations Environment Programme.
Showing 20 of 57 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Borneo change transitionProjected environmental change for Borneo

Undergraduate Module Convenor:

DI303 (convenor) Survey and Monitoring for Biodiversity
DI501 (convenor) Climate Change and Conservation
DI535 (convenor) Tropical Ecology and Conservation

I also contribute to the following MSc module:

DI877 (MSc) Population and Evolutionary Biology

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UNEP orangutanThe future of tropical biodiversity will depend, to a large extent, on how we manage disturbed habitats. My research is therefore applied to the valuation, design and management of modified landscapes in the tropics, and I am based mostly in the oil palm-producing region of Indonesia and Malaysia. I have particular expertise with mammals, but my interests are broad, covering various applications of conservation science across the tropics.

Recent work includes:

  • Spatial prioritisation for biodiversity under land-cover and climate change projections
  • Oil palm sustainability to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • Biodiversity valuation of degraded tropical forests
  • Habitat fragmentation and landscape design
  • Predicting human-wildlife encounters

Current Research Projects:

Tolerating tigers: do local beliefs offset human-carnivore conflicts?

Researcher: Matthew Struebig and Freya St. John

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Research staff

PhD students

  • Kate Allberry: How is environmental change influencing the movement of Malaysia's apex predators in wildlife corridors?
  • Nick Deere: Biodiversity and carbon cobenefits across a human-modified tropical landscape (NERC EnvEast; SEARRP)
  • Jessica Haysom: Borneo's Arboreal Mammals: Diversity and Vulnerability to Habitat Change (NERC EnvEast; SEARRP)
  • Elizabeth Loh: Host diversity and disease risk in a fragmented landscape: evaluating the effects of habitat fragmentation on bat and viral communities in Brazil (Ecohealth Alliance)
  • Simon Mitchell: The value of riparian strips for tropical birds and bats (Kent Scholarship; SEARRP)
  • Anne-Sophie Pellier: Wildlife hunting in logging concessions and protected areas of Kalimantan (Kent Scholarship; CIFOR; co-supervisor)

Associated PhD students (external advisor/co-supervisor)

  • Esther Baking: The value of riparian strips for tropical terrestrial mammals (Universiti Malaysia Sabah, with H.Bernard)
  • David Bennett: Impact of rainforest fragmentation on predator-prey interactions: a molecular ecological approach (QMUL, with E.Clare)
  • Rosie Drinkwater: Documenting Tropical Mammal Biodiversity Across a Human-modified Landscape Using Leech Blood Meal DNA (QMUL, with S Rossiter)
  • Victoria Kemp: Using stable isotopes to link biogeochemical processes to biodiversity of conservation (QMUL, with S Rossiter and P Katrina)
  • Anne Seltman: Resilience and virus ecology of paleotropical bats (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, with C.Voigt)


  • Benjamin Lee
    DICE PhD, 2012-17 The urban ecology of bats in Singapore: understanding the human-wildlife interface
  • Nellcy Joseph (now Researcher at Universiti Malaysia Sabah):
    UMS MSc, 2015-2016 Small mammals in oil palm riparian reserves and logged forest
  • Katherine Mullin (now Ecologist at Mouchel):
    DICE, MSc, 2014-15 Importance of riparian reserves for bats in oil palm and forest in Borneo
  • Jake Bicknell (now a PDRA at DICE):
    DICE PhD, 2011-14 Reduced-Impact Logging and protected areas in Guyana
  • Manuela Fischer (now PhD student at University of Melbourne):
    GIS assistant with DICE & IZW, 2013-14 Environmental change impacts on orang-utans
  • Cathy Gonner (now MSc student at Imperial College London):
    DICE research assistant, 2013-14 Oil palm suitability over Borneo
  • Rachel Sykes (now PhD student at DICE):
    DICE research assistant, 2013-14 Oil palm suitability over Borneo
  • Sephy Noerfahmy (now Biodiversity Officer with The Forest Trust Indonesia):
    Universitas Nasional Indonesia, MSc: 2011-13 Bats in High Conservation Value forests
  • Emily Giles (now Senior Species Specialist at WWF Canada):
    DICE, MSc, 2011-12 Bats and tree cavity availability in logged forests of Sabah, Malaysia
  • Anthony Turner (now PhD student at DICE):
    UEA, MSc: 2011-12 Impacts of logging on paleotropical bat assemblages
  • Carolyn Devens (now researcher at Landmark Foundation, South Africa):
    DICE MSc, 2010-11 Levels of protection for Borneo primates inferred by niche modelling
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Associate Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology

Steering committee member, SEABCRU (Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit)

Member, ATBC (Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation)

Member, BES (British Ecological Society)

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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: 12/12/2017