David Lee known as David
- Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (HE; University of South Wales).
- PhD in Applied Ecology and Conservation (Improving methods for conservation-based assessments of abundance and habitat use in tropical forest birds; Manchester Metropolitan University, MMU).
- MSc Conservation Biology (MMU).
- BSc Zoology (The University of Liverpool).
- I am a wildlife ecologist and conservation biologist with academic and research interests that include avian ecology and conservation, biodiversity survey techniques, conservation management of wildlife in modified terrestrial landscapes (e.g. sun bears in SE Asia), including tropical forest and UK upland restoration approaches. I have developed and delivered multidisciplinary forest-based conservation research projects in Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Pakistan and Peru, and under- and postgraduate student field courses to Honduras, Malaysia, Mexico and South Africa.
- In 1997 I undertook my MSc research on primates in the Tambopata National Reserve, Peru and have been working in tropical and sub-tropical forests ever since, alongside more recent involvement in the montane forests of the Western Himalayas.
- In 1999 I joined an MMU research expedition to assess the conservation status of the Palawan Peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis), an endemic and globally threatened species in the Philippines. This led on to my PhD on improving conservation assessments of lowland forest birds in the Philippines, and post-doctoral research building sustainable leadership capacity in avian conservation in the biodiversity hotspots of Sichuan in southwest China and the Philippines, and funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Chester Zoo.
- Before joining the University of South Wales I worked as a Conservation Scientist in the Centre for Conservation Science division of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, specifically developing biodiversity research that supported forest restoration strategies for the Harapan Rainforest Initiative in Sumatra, Indonesia. Focal species included: Agile Gibbon; Malayan Sun Bear; Malay Tapir; Sumatran Tiger; hornbills; and forest galliforms.
- I work closely with the IUCN Galliformes Specialist Group in supporting conservation projects led by academic institutions and non-governmental organisations in Asia, and particularly in Pakistan, and also with the IUCN Bear Specialist Group on sun bear conservation research in SE Asia.
- I have also worked extensively as an ornithologist for UK environmental consultancies (Scott Wilson Group, now AECOM, Haworth Conservation Ltd and Biocensus) using a range of survey and monitoring methods to support preliminary ecological appraisals, impact assessments and mitigation strategies for proposed land development projects.
- From 2020 – USW REF2021 Lead for Unit of Assessment B7 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences.
- 2015-18 BSc (Hons) International Wildlife Biology Course Leader
Click here for details on our BSc (Hons) International Wildlife Biology course.
- Module Leader for:
- Additional teaching:
- BI1S49 Principles of Ecology (1st year);
- BI1S62 Big Game Tracking (South Africa field course; 1st year);
- BI2S112 Ethology (Bird migration; 2nd year);
- BI2S121 Vertebrate Zoology (Birds; 2nd year);
- BI3D105 Research Project (Dissertation supervision; 3rd year);
- BI3S119 Population and Community Ecology (3rd year);
- ES4S009 Restoration Ecology (Tropical forests, uplands, birds, and landscape ‘rewilding’; MSc); and
- ES4S010 Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation (Forests and wildlife conservation; MSc).
- USW Board Representative (Wildlife Ecology and Conservation) for the USW-Brecon Beacons National Park Strategic Partnership, with external support from the National Research Network for Low Carbon Energy and Environment.
- USW Representative (Biodiversity and Ecosystems) for the Environment Platform Wales.
- Umar, M., Hussain, M., Malik, M & Lee, D.C. (in press). Spatio-temporal patterns in avian community composition of Deva Vatala National Park, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Zoology.
- Maryon, D., Brown, T.W & Lee, D.C. (2020). Love thy neighbor: Predation of a Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri) by a Common Spiny-tailed Iguana (C. similis) on Utila Island, Honduras. IRCF Reptiles and Amphibians 27(1): 84-86.
- Simmonds, R., Lee, D.C. & Hayhurst, E. (2019). Mobile phones as fomites for bacteria in hospitals: microbiome analysis reveals hidden contaminants. Journal of Hospital Infection 104: 207-213.
- Lee, D.C., Powell, V.J. & Lindsell, J.A. (2019). Understanding landscape and plot-scale habitat utilisation by Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) in degraded lowland forest. Acta Oecologica 96: 1-9.
- Lindsell, J.A., Lee, D.C., Powell, V.J., & Gemita, E. (2015). Availability of large seed-dispersers for restoration of degraded tropical forest. Tropical Conservation Science 8(1): 17-27. This research is also covered at Mongabay.
- Lee, D.C., Powell, V.J., & Lindsell, J.A. (2015). The conservation value of degraded forests for agile gibbons Hylobates agilis. American Journal of Primatology 77(1): 76-85.
- Awan, M.N., Ali, H. & Lee, D.C. (2014). Population survey and conservation assessment of the globally threatened cheer pheasant (Catreus wallichi) in Jhelum Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Zoological Research 35(4): 1-8.
- Awan, M.N. & Lee, D.C. (2014). Further nesting records of Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichi in Jhelum valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. BirdingASIA 20: 67-69.
- Awan, M.N., Ali, H. & Lee, D.C. (2012). An annotated checklist of birds and conservation issues in Salkhala Game Reserve, an isolated Important Bird Area in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. Forktail 28: 38-43.
- Hua, F., Marthy, W., Lee, D.C. & Janra, M.N. (2011). Globally threatened Sunda Blue Flycatcher Cyornis caerulatus: synthesis of global records and recent records from Sumatra. Forktail 27: 83-85.
- Mallari, N.A., Collar, N., Lee, D.C., McGowan, P.J.K., Wilkinson, R. & Marsden, S.J. (2011). Population densities of understorey birds across a habitat gradient in Palawan, Philippines: implications for conservation. Oryx 45: 234-242.
- Lee, D.C. & Rombang, W. (2011). Homes for Sumatran Hornbills. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 24: 167-169.
- Lee, D.C. & Marsden, S.J. (2008). Increasing the value of bird-habitat studies in tropical forests: choice of approach and habitat measures. Bird Conservation International 18 Supplement S1: S109-S124.
- Lee, D.C. & Marsden, S.J. (2008). Adjusting count period strategies to improve the accuracy of forest bird abundance estimates from point transect distance sampling surveys. Ibis 150: 315-325.
- Lee, D.C. & Marsden, S.J. (2006). Accumulation of knowledge and changes in Red List classification within the family Galliformes 1980-2004. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 1887-1902.
- Li, R.G., Lu, G., Yang, J., Zhang, X.L. & Lee, D.C. (2006). Monitoring Galliformes and biodiversity in southwest China. Annual Review of the World Pheasant Association 2005/2006: 28.
- Mallari, N.A.D. & Lee, D.C. (2006). Management planning for the Palawan Peacock-pheasant. Annual Review of the World Pheasant Association 2005/2006: 27.
- Sullivan, M.S., Jones, M.J., Lee, D.C., Marsden, S.J., Fielding, A.H. & Young, E. (2006). A comparison of predictive methods in extinction risk studies: contrasts and decision trees. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 1977-1991.
- Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, now AdvanceHE.
- IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Scientific Advisor to the Bear Specialist Group and Galliformes Specialist Group.
- Member of the Asian bear conservation monitoring team, IUCN SSC Bear Specialist Group.
- Member of the British Ecological Society.
- Member of the Welsh Ornithological Society.
- Biological Sciences reviewer for NERC Industrial CASE Studentships.
- External Examiner for BSc Animal Biology at The University of Gloucestershire, UK; from 2018.
- Editorial board member for Zoological Research.
- External reviewer for: Biotropica, Bird Conservation International, International Journal of Primatology, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Tropical Conservation Science, and Zoological Research.
- External reviewer for Garland Science textbooks.
- Technical reviewer of Fellowships with the Daphne Jackson Trust.
- Scientific presentations and Chair of workshops at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and international hornbill and galliform conferences.
- British Trust for Ornithology volunteer for Breeding Bird Surveys, Waterways Breeding Bird Surveys, and Wetland Bird Surveys.
- Landscape suitability assessment for black grouse in the Brecon Beacons National Park and environs. This MRes project aims to: quantify and ground-truth current habitat quality, fragmentation and patch isolation, and current land use in the Park and adjacent WWV Convergence area; classify habitat quality and land uses, and relate these spatial data to known black grouse habitat associations and dispersal distances; and model habitat, land use and black grouse data sets to identify areas potentially suitable for black grouse, within the Park and West Wales and Valleys Convergence area. This research is supported by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
- Landscape use and suitability for key upland birds in the Brecon Beacons National Park and environs. This MRes project aims to: quantify population distributions, landscape use and suitability for upland bird species of principal importance in Wales; and link these ecological datasets to land-use and management practices. this is needed for effective decision-making, including priority-mapping, that supports future-proofed conservation management of species and their habitats, identifying how these areas could be best managed to enhance upland bird populations, and engaging local communities in the conservation of the landscape and its natural resources. This research is supported by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
- Population ecology of the Critically Endangered Utila Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura bakeri) on the island of Utila, Honduras. This PhD project aims to: produce robust population densities; determine the movement and habitat use of iguanas across the island through the use of radio-tracking; identify areas of hybridization with the congenic C. similis; and quantify life history parameters and reproductive behaviour for the species. This will inform targeted conservation efforts, including the efficacy of new protected areas. The project is supported by The International Iguana Foundation, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, IguanaFest 2017, the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group, the Kanahau Research and Conservation Facility, Utila, and The University of South Wales. You can read about the latest on this research here.
- The ecological consequences of Diadema antillarum dieback on degraded Caribbean coral reefs. This PhD focuses on the ecological role of a keystone herbivore in Honduras and aims to: characterise the population status of D. antillarum on a classic contemporary (Utila) reef system and unique (Banco Capiro) reef system; determine the role of a suite of ecological variables as potential barriers to D. antillarum recovery; classify the genetic basis of different urchin populations; and conduct preliminary trials combining artificial reef construction with D. antillarum translocation at degraded reef sites. This project is supported by Operation Wallacea and The University of South Wales.
- Tropical forest conservation and restoration: With an emphasis on enhancing and applying mixed-survey techniques to assess the conservation status and functional requirements of key tropical species, including Agile Gibbon, Malayan Sun Bear and Sundaic galliforms, in degraded lowland forests. The conservation management focus is to produce robust population data and habitat requirement evaluations along gradients of ecological restoration, assessing the conservation value of these modified landscapes, and guiding effective forest conservation and restoration management strategies.
- Galliformes of the western Himalayas, Pakistan: I support field research of the Himalayan Nature Conservation Foundation that focuses on assessing and monitoring the conservation status of montane galliformes in northern Pakistan, alongside other avian and mammal species in the region.
- Biodiversity value of translocated soils in Forest Wood Quarry, Pontyclun, South Wales. This project was funded by HeidelbergCement’s Quarry Life Award and focused on three biotic groups – soil micro-organisms, plants and butterflies. Comparing these elements quantitatively in/on undisturbed and disturbed soils, we ascertained the biodiversity value of translocated soils and whether they act as suitable substrates for natural habitat regeneration, adding biodiversity value to the quarry landscape. Findings of this project are transferable to other quarries within HeidelbergCement’s portfolio. Click here for a history of this project. In October 2018, our project won the UK research section of the Quarry Life Awards 2018..
- Supervision of PhD research quantifying the structural and spatial composition of tropical rain forest in Cusuco National Park, Honduras. This research investigated the effects of altitude, microclimate, and anthropogenic disturbance on forest structure, composition and carbon storage. The overall aim was to inform conservation and management strategies for this important montane forest landscape.
Areas of Expertise
- Avian ecology and conservation
- Biodiversity survey techniques
- Ecosystem restoration, particularly tropical forests and UK uplands
- Wildlife ecology and conservation biology
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