School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach



Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos

Reader in Landscape Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation

Landscape ecology & GIS; Nature conservation policy and governance; Impact assessment of land-use changes


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School Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Graduate Studies; Deputy Director of Graduate Studies - for Research Programmes - Conservation; Co-Director of Kent Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS)

Academic Background

I am a landscape ecologist working on biodiversity conservation using a landscape approach that integrates ecological and socio-economic aspects in order to monitor and assess the impacts of policy scenarios on biodiversity and networks of protected areas. My 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 fifteen 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 my appointment at Kent as a lecturer in Landscape and Biodiversity conservation, I worked as research fellow at Wye College, Imperial College London, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and CAER (University of Reading).

My main research interests include:

  • Reconciling biodiversity conservation and sustainable development on rural areas
  • Collaborating with scholars across disciplines to identify drivers of change and actors involved in complex land-use systems, unearthing conflicts among stakeholders and competing sectors, and developing strategies and policy recommendations for sustainable development
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Impacts of land-use changes and landscape fragmentation on mountain and island ecosystems, including agricultural landscapes and their biodiversity
  • Plant ecology including vegetation succession, spatial modelling, estimation of disturbance thresholds, agroecology
  • Nature conservation policy and governance, and issues of scale and space in socio-ecological systems
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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

R. Lines, Tzanopoulos, J., and MacMillan, D., "Status of terrestrial mammals at the Kafue-Zambezi Interface: Implications for transboundary connectivity", Oryx. Cambridge University Press, 2017.
A. Said, MacMillan, D., Schembri, M., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Fishing in a congested sea: What do marine protected areas imply for the future of the Maltese artisanal fleet?", Applied Geography, vol. 87. Elsevier, pp. 245-255, 2017 [Online]. Available:
N. Bryson-Morrison, Tzanopoulos, J., Matsuzawa, T., and Humle, T., "Activity and Habitat Use of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Anthropogenic Landscape of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa", International Journal of Primatology. Springer Nature, pp. 1-21, 2017 [Online]. Available:
N. Rust, MacMillan, D., Tzanopoulos, J., and Humle, T., "Why Has Human–Carnivore Conflict Not Been Resolved in Namibia?", Society & Natural Resources, vol. 29. Taylor & Francis, pp. 1079-1094, 2016 [Online]. Available:
V. Boron, Payan, E., MacMillan, D., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Achieving sustainable development in rural areas in Colombia: Future scenarios for biodiversity conservation under land use change", Land Use Policy, vol. 59. Elsevier, pp. 27-37, 2016 [Online]. Available:
A. Said, MacMillan, D., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Bluefin tuna fishery policy in Malta: The plight of artisanal fishermen caught in the capitalist net", Marine Policy, vol. 73. Elsevier, pp. 27-34, 2016 [Online]. Available:
V. Boron, Tzanopoulos, J., Gallo, J., Barragan, J., Jaimes-Rodriguez,, L., Schaller, G., and Payan, E., "Jaguar Densities across Human-Dominated Landscapes in Colombia: The Contribution of Unprotected Areas to Long Term Conservation", PLoS ONE, vol. 11. p. e0153973, 2016 [Online]. Available:
V. Lehsten, Sykes, M., Scott, A., Tzanopoulos, J., Kallimanis, A., Mazaris, A., Verburg, P., Schulp, C., Potts, S., and Vogiatzakis, I., "Disentangling the effects of land use change, climate and CO2", Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 24. Wiley, pp. 653-663, 2015 [Online]. Available:
R. Paloniemi, Apostolopoulou, E., Cent, J., Bormpoudakis, D., Scott, A., Pantis, J., Pietrzyk-Kaszyńska, A., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Tzanopoulos, J., and Koivulehto, M., "Public participation and environmental justice in biodiversity governance in Finland, Greece, Poland and the UK", Environmental Policy and Governance, vol. 25. Wiley & Sons, pp. 330-342, 2015 [Online]. Available:
L. Bravo-Monroy, Tzanopoulos, J., and Potts, S., "Drivers influencing farmer decisions for adopting organic or conventional coffee management practices", Food Policy, vol. 58. Elsevier, pp. 49-61, 2015 [Online]. Available:
L. Bravo-Monroy, Tzanopoulos, J., and Potts, S., "Ecological and social drivers of coffee pollination in Santander, Colombia", Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 211. Elsevier, pp. 145-154, 2015 [Online]. Available:
Y. Haila, Henle, K., Apostolopoulou, E., Cent, J., Framstad, E., Goerg, C., Jax, K., Klenke, R., Magnuson, W., Matsinos, Y., Mueller, B., Paloniemi, R., Pantis, J., Rauschmayer, F., Ring, I., Similä, J., Touloumis, K., Tzanopoulos, J., and Pe'er, G., "Confronting and Coping with Uncertainty in Biodiversity Research and Praxis", Nature Conservation, vol. 8. pp. 45-75, 2014 [Online]. Available:
A. Kallimanis, Touloumis, K., Tzanopoulos, J., Apostolopoulou, E., Mazaris, A., Stefanidou, S., Scott, A., Potts, S., and Pantis, J., "Vegetation coverage change in the EU: patterns inside and outside Natura 2000 protected areas", Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 24. Springer, pp. 579-591, 2014 [Online]. Available:
N. Abram, Xofis, P., Tzanopoulos, J., MacMillan, D., Ancrenaz, M., Chung, R., Peter, L., Ong, R., Lackman, I., Goossens, B., Ambu, L., and Knight, A., "Synergies for Improving Oil Palm Production and Forest Conservation in Floodplain Landscapes", PLoS ONE, vol. 9. p. e95388, 2014 [Online]. Available:
M. Tsiafouli, Thébault, E., Sgardelis, S., de Ruiter, P., van der Putten, W., Birkhofer, K., Hemerik, L., de Vries, F., Bardgett, R., Brady, M., Bjørnlund, L., Jørgensen, H., Christensen, S., D'Hertefeldt, T., Hotes, S., Hol, W., Frouz, J., Liiri, M., Mortimer, S., Setälä, H., Tzanopoulos, J., Uteseny, K., Pižl, V., Stary, J., Wolters, V., and Hedlund, K., "Intensive agriculture reduces soil biodiversity across Europe", Global Change Biology, vol. 21. Wiley, pp. 973-985, 2014 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Mouttet, R., Letourneau, A., Vogiatzakis, I., Potts, S., Henle, K., Mathevet, R., and Marty, P., "Scale sensitivity of drivers of environmental change across Europe", Global Environmental Change, vol. 23. Elsevier, pp. 167-178, 2013 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Jones, P., and Mortimer, S., "The implications of the 2003 Common Agricultural Policy reforms for land-use and landscape quality in England", Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 108. pp. 39-48, 2012 [Online]. Available:
R. Paloniemi, Apostolopoulou, E., Primmer, E., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Henle, K., Ring, I., Kettunen, M., Tzanopoulos, J., Potts, S., van den Hove, S., Marty, P., McConville, A., and Similä, J., "Biodiversity conservation across scales: lessons from a science–policy dialogue", Nature Conservation, vol. 2. pp. 7-19, 2012 [Online]. Available:
K. Henle, Bell, S., Brotons, L., Clobert, J., Evans, D., Görg, C., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Gruber, B., Haila, Y., Henry, P., Huth, A., Julliard, R., Keil, P., Kleyer, M., Kotze, J., Kunin, W., Lengyel, S., Lin, Y., Loyau, A., Luck, G., Magnusson, W., Margules, C., Matsinos, Y., May, P., Sousa-Pinto, I., Possingham, H., Potts, S., Ring, I., Pryke, J., Samways, M., Saunders, D., Schmeller, D., Similä, J., Sommer, S., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Stoev, P., Sykes, M., Tóthmérész, B., Tzanopoulos, J., Yam, R., and Penev, L., "Nature Conservation – a new dimension in Open Access publishing bridging science and application", Nature Conservation, vol. 1. pp. 1-10, 2012 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Kallimanis, A., Bella, I., Labrianidis, L., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "Agricultural decline and sustainable development on mountain areas in Greece: Sustainability assessment of future scenarios", LAND USE POLICY, vol. 28. pp. 585-593, 2011 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos and Vogiatzakis, I., "Processes and patterns of landscape change on a small Aegean island: The case of Sifnos, Greece", Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 99. Elsevier Science, pp. 58-64, 2011 [Online]. Available:
D. Hampson, Crowther, J., Bateman, I., Kay, D., Posen, P., Stapleton, C., Wyer, M., Fezzi, C., Jones, P., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Predicting microbial pollution concentrations in UK rivers in response to land use change", Water Research, vol. 44. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, pp. 4748-4759, 2010 [Online]. Available:
M. Arnoult, Jones, P., Tranter, R., Tiffin, R., Traill, W., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Modelling the likely impact of healthy eating guidelines on agricultural production and land use in England and Wales", LAND USE POLICY, vol. 27. pp. 1046-1055, 2010 [Online]. Available:
A. Mazaris, Kallimanis, A., Tzanopoulos, J., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "Can we predict the number of plant species from the richness of a few common genera, families or orders?", Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 47. Blackwell, pp. 662-670, 2010 [Online]. Available:
K. Henle, Kunin, W., Schweiger, O., Schmeller, D., Grobelnik, V., Matsinos, Y., Pantis, J., Penev, L., Potts, S., Ring, I., Simila, J., Tzanopoulos, J., van den Hove, S., Baguette, M., Clobert, J., Excoffier, L., Framstad, E., Grodzinska-Jurczak, M., Lengyel, S., Marty, P., Moilanen, A., Porcher, E., Storch, D., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Sykes, M., Zobel, M., and Settele, J., "Securing the Conservation of Biodiversity across Administrative Levels and Spatial, Temporal, and Ecological Scales Research Needs and Approaches of the SCALES Project", GAIA-ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES FOR SCIENCE AND SOCIETY, vol. 19. pp. 187-193, 2010.
A. Mazaris, Kramer-Schadt, S., Tzanopoulos, J., Johst, K., Matsinos, G., and Pantis, J., "Assessing the relative importance of conservation measures applied on sea turtles: comparison of measures focusing on nesting success and hatching recruitment success", Amphibia-Reptilia, vol. 30. E.J Brill, pp. 221-231, 2009 [Online]. Available:
A. Mazaris, Kallimanis, A., Tzanopoulos, J., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "Sea surface temperature variations in core foraging grounds drive nesting trends and phenology of loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean Sea", JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, vol. 379. pp. 23-27, 2009 [Online]. Available:
A. Kallimanis, Petanidou, T., Tzanopoulos, J., Pantis, J., and Sgardelis, S., "Do plant-pollinator interaction networks result from stochastic processes?", Ecological Modelling, vol. 220. Elsevier, pp. 684-693, 2009 [Online]. Available:
T. Petanidou, Kallimanis, A., Tzanopoulos, J., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "Long-term observation of a pollination network: fluctuation in species and interactions, relative invariance of network structure and implications for estimates of specialization", Ecology Letters, vol. 11. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 564-575, 2008 [Online]. Available:
A. Kallimanis, Mazaris, A., Tzanopoulos, J., Halley, J., Pantis, J., and Sgardelis, S., "How does habitat diversity affect the species-area relationship?", Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 17. pp. 532-538, 2008 [Online]. Available:
J. Jiao, Tzanopoulos, J., Xofis, P., and Mitchley, J., "Factors affecting distribution of vegetation types on abandoned cropland in the hilly-gullied Loess Plateau region of China", PEDOSPHERE, vol. 18. pp. 24-33, 2008 [Online]. Available:
M. Zomeni, Tzanopoulos, J., and Pantis, J., "Historical analysis of landscape change using remote sensing techniques: An explanatory tool for agricultural transformation in Greek rural areas", LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING, vol. 86. pp. 38-46, 2008 [Online]. Available:
A. Mazaris, Tzanopoulos, J., Kallimanis, A., Matsinos, Y., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "The contribution of common and rare species to plant species richness patterns: the effect of habitat type and size of sampling unit", Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 17. pp. 3567-3577, 2008 [Online]. Available: 10.1007/s10531-008-9480-7
J. Tzanopoulos, Mitchley, J., and Pantis, J., "Vegetation dynamics in abandoned crop fields on a Mediterranean island: Development of succession model and estimation of disturbance thresholds", Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment , vol. 120. Elsevier Science BV, pp. 370-376, 2007 [Online]. Available:
J. Haddock-Fraser, Tzanopoulos, J., Mitchley, J., and Fraser, R., "A method for evaluating alternative landscape management scenarios in relation to the biodiversity conservation of habitats", Ecological Economics, vol. 61. Elsevier Science B.V., pp. 277-283, 2007 [Online]. Available:
J. Jiao, Tzanopoulos, J., Xofis, P., Bai, W., Ma, X., and Mitchley, J., "Can the study of natural vegetation succession assist in the control of soil erosion on abandoned croplands on the Loess Plateau, China?", Restoration Ecology, vol. 15. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 391-399, 2007 [Online]. Available:
I. Jongepierova, Mitchley, J., and Tzanopoulos, J., "A field experiment to recreate species rich hay meadows using regional seed mixtures", Biological Conservation, vol. 139. Elsevier, pp. 297-305, 2007 [Online]. Available:
J. Mitchley, Price, M., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Integrated futures for Europe's mountain regions: Reconciling biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods", Journal of Mountain Science, vol. 3. pp. 276-286, 2006 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Mitchley, J., and Pantis, J., "Modelling the effects of human activity on the vegetation of a northeast Mediterranean island", Applied Vegetation Science, vol. 8. International Association for vegetation science, pp. 27-38, 2005 [Online]. Available:
Book section
A. Scott, Touloumis, K., Lehsten, V., Tzanopoulos, J., and Potts, S., "Fragmentation across spatial scales", in Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, K. Henle, Potts, S. G., Kunin, W., Matsinos, Y., Similä, J., Pantis, J. D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., and Settele, J., Eds. Pensoft, 2014 [Online]. Available:
P. Marty, Daeden, J., Mouttet, R., Vogiatzakis, I., Mathevet, R., Potts, S., and Tzanopoulos, J., "Conceptual framework and typology of drivers", in Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, K. Henle, Potts, S. G., Kunin, W., Matsinos, Y., Similä, J., Pantis, J. D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., and Settele, J., Eds. Pensoft, 2014 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Mouttet, R., Letourneau, A., Vogiatzakis, I., Potts, S., Henle, K., Mathevet, R., and Marty, P., "Scaling of drivers of change across administrative levels", in Scaling in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, K. Henle, Potts, S. G., Kunin, W., Matsinos, Y., Similä, J., Pantis, J. D., Grobelnik, V., Penev, L., and Settele, J., Eds. Pensfot, 2014 [Online]. Available:
E. Primmer, Paloniemi, R., Mathevet, R., Apostolopoulou, E., Tzanopoulos, J., Ring, I., Kettunen, M., Similä, J., Cent, J., Grodzińska-Jurczak, M., Koellner, T., Antunes, P., Pantis, J., Potts, S., and Santos, R., "An approach to analysing scale-sensitivity and scale-effectiveness of governance in biodiversity conservation", in Scale-Sensitive Governance of the Environment, F. J. G. Padt, Opdam, P. F. M., Polman, N. B. P., and Termeer, C. J. A. M., Eds. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2014 [Online]. Available:
J. Tzanopoulos, Kallimanis, A., Bella, I., Togridou, A., Labrianidis, L., Sgardelis, S., and Pantis, J., "Scenario analysis and Sustainability Assessment as tools for the development of management strategies for the protected areas.", in Sustainable management of protected areas., P. Dimopoulos, Pantis, J. D., Vagenas, D., and Tzanoudakis, D., Eds. Pappas Editions, 2011.
J. Mitchley, Tzanopoulos, J., and Xofis, P., "Scenarios research: a tool for participatory landscape planning in Europe's mountain regions", in Implementation of Landscape Ecology in New and Changing Conditions, M. Boltiziar, Ed. Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2008.
J. Mitchley, Tzanopoulos, J., and Cooper, T., "Reconciling the Conservation of Biodiversity with Declining Agricultural Use in the Mountains of Europe: The Challenge of Interdisciplinary Research", in Mountain Research and Management: Integrated Approaches, M. F. Price, Ed. Earthscan, 2007.
Total publications in KAR: 46 [See all in KAR]

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Undergraduate Level

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

MSc Level

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

Advanved Training - Kent Graduate School

Geographic Information System (GIS)

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Landscape ecologyResearch Interests

  • Biodiversity conservation using a landscape approach that integrates ecological and socio-economic aspects in order to monitor and assess the impacts of policy scenarios and other human activities on biodiversity and networks of protected areas
  • Reconciling biodiversity conservation and sustainable development on rural areas
  • Landscape ecology and GIS
  • Conservation policy and governance
  • Vegetation ecology, including vegetation succession, spatial modelling, estimation of disturbance thresholds, agro-ecology
  • Impacts of land-use changes on mountain and island ecosystems
  • Scenario analysis and Sustainability Assessment
  • Ecosystem Services – study of pollination networks

Research Projects

  • AgroecologyAnalysis of the role of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy in creating jobs in UK rural areas. (University of Kent, Faculty Grant)
  • 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)
  • 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)
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PhD students 

  • Sally Marsh: Conserving natural beauty? AONB designation and landscape change in Kent and Sussex (1950’s – present) (main supervisor)
  • Lawrence Ball: The socio-ecological dynamics of overgrazing in the Dhofar Mountains of Oman (main supervisor)
  • Joana Canelas: Indigenous contribution to ecological modelling for the assessment of ecosystem services (main supervisor)
  • Robin Lines: Assessing Landscape Connectivity in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (main supervisor)
  • Veronica Iniguez-Gallardo: Social perspectives on climate change (main supervisor)
  • Anthony Turner: Soundscape Ecology (main supervisor)
  • Maria Cifre Sabater: Forest Fires, Social Conflict and Environmental Management in the Mediterranean Protected Area of Serra De Tramuntana, Mallorca (co-supervisor)
  • Abraham Heinemann: Hunting: A Multidimensional In-depth Comparative Study (co-supervisor)
  • Anthony Knight: (Im)possible cohabitation: Rewilding and pastoralism in contested French mountain “wilderness” (co-supervisor)
  • Nurulhuda Binti Zaharia: Assessing the status of amphibians in agricultural landscapes (co-supervisor)

Completed students

  • Nicola Abram: Designing a conservation corridor in an oil palm dominated landscape: applying an integrated, systematic conservation planning approach in Sabah, Borneo (main supervisor)
  • Dimitrios Bormpoudakis: Green Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity in South East England (main supervisor)
  • Valeria Boron: Conservation of Medium-Large Mammals across Agroecosystems in the Neotropics (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)
  • 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)
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Co-Director and contact person of Kent’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Spatial Studies (KISS)

Member of the Editorial Board: Nature Conservation

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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: 13/10/2017