School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach



Dr Jake E. Bicknell

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Tropical forest deforestation and degradation; disturbance impacts on biodiversity in particular birds and bats; Guyana.


profile image for Dr Jake E. Bicknell

I joined DICE in 2011 as a PhD student and graduate teaching assistant. I am now a post-doc working on the project entitled ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes in Human-Modified Tropical Forests’. Previously I worked on ‘Restoration efforts required for achieving the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives’, and elsewhere I have worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Operation Wallacea, and the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development in Guyana.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Bicknell, J., Collins, M., Pickles, R., McCann, N., Bernard, C., Fernandes, D., et al. (2017). Designing protected area networks that translate international conservation commitments into national action. Biological Conservation, 214, 168-175. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.024
Rivett, S., Bicknell, J., & Davies, Z. (2016). Effect of reduced-impact logging on seedling recruitment in a neotropical forest. Forest Ecology And Management, 367, 71-79. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2016.02.022
Hudson, L., Newbold, T., Contu, S., Hill, S., Lysenko, I., De Palma, A., et al. (2016). The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology And Evolution, 7, 145-188. doi:10.1002/ece3.2579
Horsley, T., Bicknell, J., Lim, B., & Ammerman, L. (2015). Seed dispersal by frugivorous bats in Central Guyana and a description of previously unknown plant-animal interactions. Acta Chiropterologica, 17, 331-336. doi:10.3161/15081109ACC2015.17.2.008
Bicknell, J., Struebig, M., & Davies, Z. (2015). Reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation in tropical forests using reduced-impact logging. Journal Of Applied Ecology, 52, 379-388. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12391
Bicknell, J., Gaveau, D., Davies, Z., & Struebig, M. (2015). Saving logged tropical forests: closing roads will bring immediate benefits. Frontiers In Ecology And The Environment, 13, 73-74. doi:doi:10.1890/15.WB.001
Bicknell, J., Phelps, S., Davies, R., Mann, D., Struebig, M., & Davies, Z. (2014). Dung beetles as indicators for rapid impact assessments: evaluating best practice forestry in the neotropics. Ecological Indicators, 43, 154-161. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.02.030
Bicknell, J., Struebig, M., Edwards, D., & Davies, Z. (2014). Improved timber harvest techniques maintain biodiversity in tropical forests. Current Biology, 24, 1119-1120. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.10.067
Dallimer, M., Parnell, M., Bicknell, J., & Melo, M. (2012). The importance of novel and agricultural habitats for the avifauna of an oceanic island. Journal For Nature Conservation, 20, 191-199. doi:doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2012.04.001
Bicknell, J., & Peres, C. (2010). Vertebrate population responses to reduced-impact logging in a neotropical forest. Forest Ecology And Management, 259, 2267-2275. doi:doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.02.027
Bicknell, J., & Chin, C. (2007). Aquarium fisheries as a non-timber forest product: experiences from conservation through community development in North Rupununi District, Guyana. Conservation Evidence, 4, 94-98. Retrieved from
Watkins, G., Saul, W., Holm, E., Watson, C., Arjoon, D., & Bicknell, J. (2005). The fish fauna of the Iwokrama Forest. Proceedings Of The Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia, 154, 39-53. Retrieved from
Total publications in KAR: 12 [See all in KAR]
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Gold mining is a key driver of deforestation across tropical forests

Gold mining is a key driver of deforestation across tropical forests.

I am a conservation scientist, broadly interested in conservation throughout the globe and across taxonomic groups. I work alongside Zoe Davies and Matt Struebig on the project named ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes in Human-Modified Tropical Forests’. This work is aimed at understanding the relationships between biodiversity and biogeochemical processes, and the impact of land-use policies on delivering both ecosystem service provision and conserving biodiversity in human-modified tropical forests. The research draws on extensive data from the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project in Sabah (Malaysian Borneo), in a landscape comprising unlogged and logged forests, as well as oil palm plantations. The project is part of NERC’s Human-modified Tropical Forests research programme within the LOMBOK consortium.

My PhD (which I conducted at DICE) focused on human-modified tropical forests, exploring the consequences of improving timber harvest techniques for biodiversity. I conducted field research in Guyana, and meta-analyses to appraise a technique called Reduced-Impact Logging. The findings provide strong evidence that widely improving timber harvest practices will lead to substantially increased conservation values across the 4 million km2 of tropical forest (an area larger than India) that are allocated to timber production.

A logging road signifies the first stage of human modification in tropical forests

A logging road signifies the first stage of human modification in tropical forests.

I also previously worked as a post-doc on a project entitled ‘Restoration efforts required for achieving the objectives of the Birds and Habitats Directives’. This work was funded by the European Commission and was aimed at understanding the restoration measures needed to accomplish the Nature Directives. The findings contributed directly to the European Commission’s appraisal of the Directives, and focused on understanding what habitats, species, regions or countries require increased efforts, and also identifying best practices regarding restoration across the European Union. I am interested in many other aspects of conservation science, including landscape-scale land-use planning for conservation. I recently worked alongside stakeholders and the Government of Guyana to develop a holistic approach to land-use planning in Guyana using systematic conservation planning.

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Current teaching duties:

  • DI508 Skills for Conservation Biologists

Previous teaching:


  • DI303 Survey and Monitoring for Biodiversity
  • DI305 Biodiversity
  • DI503 Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation
  • DI521 Species Conservation


  • DI877 Population and Evolutionary Biology
  • DI879 Foundations of Natural Science for Conservation
  • DI883 Special Topics in Conservation
  • DI998 Dissertation – Conservation
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PhD students

Jessica Fisher: Benefits of Biodiversity: Human-Nature interactions in urban Guyana. (Co-supervised with Dr Zoe Davies, Professor Jay Mistry and Damian Fernandes.)

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I am available to provide commentary on issues related to land-use change in tropical forests, particularly regarding forestry and mining, and the conservation of biodiversity.

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Last Updated: 31/08/2017