As Course Leader for BSc Biology Barbara teaches topics in environmental biology and ecology, particularly applied ecology using case studies from her research in UK and overseas such as avian conservation biology, intrinsic markers and sustainable pest control. She encourages experiential learning in her students by incorporating a high level of practical activities in her teaching including field work, off-campus visits and laboratory practicals. She also encourages students to get involved in science outreach activities.
Barbara is responsible for coordinating the teaching and learning activities of students on BSc Biology, and contributes to teaching in modules related to environmental biology, evolution, conservation biology and field work. She is keen to incorporate new technology into her teaching and to support her students and to develop into confident, independent learners who develop graduate level skills that will help them succeed in their postgraduate destinations, be they further study or employment. This includes providing opportunities for students to meet professional biologists and hear about their career histories particularly when carrying out field-based activities off campus or meeting visiting speakers. She is interested in using applied ecological techniques to solve some of the societal challenges we face today, such as sustainable pest control and effective long-term conservation of biodiversity and habitats. This includes ongoing research interests in the application of intrinsic markers to remotely track animal dispersal and trophic relationships, biological control of pests and the relationship between humans and wildlife.
Barbara has worked as a researcher in the UK, Lesotho, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. Her experience includes applied ecological research, particularly relating to insects and birds, and their interactions with humans in both natural and man-made environments. She has a continued interest in tropical ecology, particularly contemporary ethnobiology of Mexico. Barbara has continued her work as an applied ecologist at UCLan studying the ecological role of insects, mammals and birds in natural and anthropogenic environments. Her international experience includes collaborating with overseas researchers from other disciplines in topics such as stable isotope analysis, geochemistry, GIS and modelling.
Specific interests include:
• Public perceptions of nature and ethnozoology (2016 article in Ethnobiology Letters, a 2nd in review)
• Intrinsic markers for tracing animal dispersal including isotopic and geochemical analyses (presentations at the ISOECOL 2012, British Ecological Society meetings 2015, 2016, 2019, and articles in Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, and Journal of Environmental Science)
• The role of insects in decomposition (UCLan research intern and poster at Royal Entomological Society ENTO’19)
• Spatial modelling to determine pest control and determine conservation priorities (articles in Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, and Bulletin of Entomological Research)
• Arthropod biodiversity and food webs in arid ecosystems (publications in Journal of Arid Research and Oikos)
• Invasive insects (publications in Bulletin of Entomological Research and Journal o Arid Zone Research)
• The conservation and ecology of endangered birds (articles in conservation Biology and Journal of Applied Ecology)
• Integrated Pest Management and biological control (articles in Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata and Journal of Stored Product Research.)
Barbara has been Lead-PI on successful research and outreach grants including awards from DEFRA (Climate Challenge Fund), STEMNET/DTi (Access Fund) and won a Natural Environment Research Council (New Investigators’ Award.) Her research has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Ethnobiology Letters, Ibis, Journal of Stored Product Research, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata and the Journal of Arid Environments. She has undertaken peer-review for the Journal of Insect Science, Ibis, the Italian Journal of Zoology and the Journal of Arid Environments, as well as Oxford University Press and Blackwell Wiley Publishing for undergraduate and postgraduate level text books Barbara ran SETPOINT Lancashire for four years and continues to deliver outreach and public engagement activities at UCLan, including supporting the Lancashire Science Festival, providing opportunities for students to become involved, and in 2019 was invited to give a series of talks in the bug hub theatre at RHS Tatton Park in 2019 (was invited to Tatton Park 2020 but event cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19.)