top of page

our team

principal investigators


Dr. James Bullock

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Professor

Bullock is a globally leading expert in the spatial dynamics and management of biodiversity. He has particular renown in dispersal research, developing novel methods to measure dispersal and analysing general patterns in dispersal data to aid generalization. In particular he has used species’ traits and dispersal in models of biodiversity responses to environmental drivers such as climate change. Bullock is also has a lead role in: a new large grant examining how to restore complex, resilient ecosystems in degraded landscapes; several projects on habitat loss and fragmentation and its impacts on spatial processes and biodiversity; a UKCEH project providing new projections of climate and societal change and how these will affect future biodiversity and environments; several projects on how we might transform our farming systems to become less environmentally damaging. While he generally works on plants, he is very excited to be working on mammals for this project! Google Scholar HERE.


Dr. Paul Beier

Regents Professor emeritus, Northern Arizona University

Research Fellow, Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Beier specializes in science-based design and implementation of wildlife corridors. He has produced 33 papers and chapters related to wildlife corridor design, and has co-produced (with managers, NGOs and other stakeholders) 72 corridor conservation plans, all of which are being implemented, with over 100,000 ha of land transferred to conservation ownership and six wildlife crossing structures built over highways. His 1988-1992 research, documenting that dispersing cougars find and use remnant habitat corridors among mountain ranges in urbanizing southern California, is a landmark study that helped catalyse interest in corridors. He wrote the first systematic review of corridor effectiveness (cited >1,000 times), the first systematic review of linkage design procedures, and the first systematic review of regional connectivity maps. In addition to the 72 corridor conservation plans, he has co-produced four regional connectivity maps (for Arizona in 2006, California in 2010, the Western US in 2008, and Bhutan in 2010). He has supervised four PhD theses that made inferences about connectivity from genetic data, including one that gave birth to circuit theory. He serves on US Fish and Wildlife Service recovery teams for two species (ocelot and jaguar). He is a founding board member of Science & Collaboration for Wildlands (, which specializes in science-based corridor designs. See his Google Scholar HERE.


Dr. Justin Travis

University of Aberdeen, Ecology and Evolution

Travis has 20 years of expertise in developing ecological and evolutionary models for fundamental and applied research questions. In recent years, an increasing focus has been on forecasting species’ responses to environmental change and on potential management interventions. In 2014 he published the state-of-the-art ecological software, RangeShifter, that provides a simulation platform for addressing questions concerning the response of species to multiple environmental drivers. It has already been applied on four continents, with 21 publications arising, including one in Science. As a result, Travis is in high demand to run workshops on RangeShifter and to guide academics and conservation practitioners about its use. Travis has been PI/CoI on six NERC funded grants, including: a recent grant using simulation models to design a strategy for habitat creation that will work for most species in most landscapes; one current grant linking demographic theory and data to forecast the dynamics of spatially-structured seasonally-mobile populations; and another focused on developing adaptive management approaches to contain invasive species in South America. Travis leads a research group of three PDRAs and four PhD students. With a WoS h-index of 39, Travis has published >120 papers in top international journals (e.g., Science, PNAS and Ecology Letters). Google Scholar HERE.


Dr. Andrew Gregory

University of North Texas, Biology and Landscape Ecology

Research Fellow, Center for Large Landscape Conservation

Gregory’s dissertation focused on spatial genetic impacts of wind energy development on Greater Prairie-Chicken populations. He has published >30 papers on how landscape structure affects gene flow and population genetics, how management activities alter individual breeding behaviour and space use, and how such changes scale up to population level consequences. Recent work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service has resulted in new assay techniques to screen for cryptic and rare species using eDNA approaches. He is a technical reviewer of the US Fish and Wildlife Service 2016 Lesser Prairie-Chicken Endangered Species Act listing decision and a member of the IUCN Rangeland Specialists, Galliformes Specialists, and Connectivity working groups. As part of his post-doctoral work with Beier, Gregory developed relationships with collaborators around the World, and was invited to the EU Greenbelt Working Group and BUND WildKatz Conservation Initiative. Dr. Gregory has visited each landscape and confirmed the presence of focal species via site interviews, camera trapping, or track and scat surveys. Gregory has won BGSU's Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship undergraduate research mentor of the year award. In 2017, he won the BGSU Master Teacher Award, and was named to the College of Arts and Sciences List of outstanding graduate faculty. Google Scholar HERE.

Research team


Dr. Richard K. Broughton

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Ecologist

Broughton has particular interests in landscape ecology and the behaviour and habitat use of birds and mammals. He is an experienced field ecologist and trainer, leading and collaborating on mammal and bird studies in the UK and elsewhere in Europe (e.g. Poland). He has a long research experience in habitat quality and fragmentation and their impact on bird and mammal populations, particularly in woodland and arable environments. He is also experienced in spatial data analysis, using GIS and R to model ecological data. Broughton has published 31 papers (305 cites; WoS h index=11), His Google Scholar can be found HERE.


Dr. Aurore Ponchon

University of Aberdeen, Research Fellow

Ponchon's interests lie in spatial ecology and a particular focus on dispersal. During her PhD (at CNRS, Montpellier) she analysed prospecting behaviour in black-legged kittiwakes.  After short postdocs in Portugal and France, Ponchon moved to Aberdeen in 2017 through an Intra-European Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship. Here, Ponchon has developed new modelling approaches accounting for information acquisition and use during dispersal. She is involved in two projects applying RangeShifter to connectivity questions; on UK woodland creation and on the Cuban protected area network. Ponchon has organised and delivered RangeShifter workshops in Argentina. She has a strong publication record for her career stage with 13 papers (148 total cites; WoS h index=8) including recent ones in Current Biology and Ecography. Her Google Scholar can be found HERE.


Emma Spence, MSc.

Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Field and Lab Manager

University of North Texas

As project manager for the corridors project, Spence has developed a mobile genetics lab, aided in developing field work protocols, ground verified multiple sites, and directed field work and lab activities at all corridor site locations to date.

During her time at Bowling Green State University, Emma studied the impacts of anthropogenic factors on Sage-grouse populations in Wyoming, while also managing a genetics lab on campus. During her studies, she traveled to Africa, India, and Germany to conduct field work on a host of different conservation projects. In 2017, she started working as a research assistant in a conservation Genetics lab at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, studying how well institutions are safeguarding genetic diversity of plant species. Her Google Scholar can be found HERE


Amanda Long

University of North Texas, MSc Student, Biology 

Amanda has been with the corridors project since 2020 as an MSc student. She is recently certified in GIS and has established a particular interest in landscape ecology and programming. Long has developed a quantitative and repeatable methodology to standardize the delineation process of patch-corridor-matrix interfaces using remote sensing. She is further investigating the degree to which the presence of a corridor influences connectivity across a subset of landscapes in GIS: Kansas, Idaho, and the Czech Republic. In addition to modelling, she has traveled to the Kansas, Italy, Kenya, and Nicaragua landscapes and assisted with the implementation of fieldwork.  


While pursuing a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology at Central Michigan University, she discovered her passion for spatial ecology with a focus on the dispersal mechanisms of big cat populations, globally. 


Bella Serrani

University of North Texas, MSc Student, Biology 

Bella joined the corridors project in 2022 as a Master’s student at UNT. Bella is overseeing the data collection of the Texas Landscape for the corridors project. Her thesis will use corridor methods and metrics, but additionally be used to inform the city of Denton, TX on potential conservation green spaces. 


Before joining the corridors project, Bella attended UNT and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science. She also interned and volunteered with Feracare Wildlife Center in Limpopo, South Africa, which oversees cheetah breeding conservation.

Lab Interns


Autumn Bryant (left) and Logan Potter (left) are apart of UNT Class of  2021 and have been working in the lab learning how to run PCR. 

bottom of page