Dr. Barbara Tigar

Lecturer in Environmental Biology and Ecology

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Kirkham Building, KM124

+44 (0) 1772 89 3497


Subject Areas: Biosciences, Forensic Science, Geography and Environment

I am an enthusiastic researcher and lecturer in applied ecology, and am interested in finding sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by invertebrate pests, as well as long term solutions for the conservation of endangered species and natural environments.

I am passionate about teaching and am always looking for new ways and technologies to help students develop into confident and independent learners, who are equipped for graduate level employment or postgraduate study.

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Full Profile

I am an ecologist interested in the role of insects and birds in natural and anthropogenic environments. My experience of working in the UK, Lesotho, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates give my work an international approach, and I have collaborated with researchers from other organisations and disciplines in topics such as stable isotope analysis, geochemistry, GIS and modelling. Specific interests include:

  • Intrinsic markers for tracing animal dispersal including isotopic and geochemical analyses
  • Arthropod biodiversity and food webs in arid ecosystems
  • Invasive insects
  • Spatial modelling for predicting disease and pest dynamics, and to determine conservation priorities
  • The conservation and ecology of endangered birds
  • Invertebrate sampling, detection and population monitoring including pheromone lures and traps
  • Methods of dietary analysis: stable isotopes, stomach and faecal analysis
  • Integrated Pest Management and biological control
  • The efficacy and fate of pesticides, and pesticide resistance in pests and beneficial insects
  • I have been lead-PI on successful research and outreach grants including awards from DEFRA (Climate Challenge Fund), STEMNET/DTi (Access Fund) and the Natural Environment Research Council (New Investigators’ Award.)

My research has been published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Bulletin of Entomological Research, Ibis, Journal of Stored Product Research, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata and the Journal of Arid Environments, and I have been invited to undertake 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 for an applied ecology book and Blackwell Wiley Publishing for a postgraduate biosciences careers book .I have written book reviews for the Learning and Teaching Support Network in Biosciences and Antenna.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology from Swansea University, and an MSc and Diploma of Imperial College in Pest Management. My PhD is in ecology from the University of London.
I received a distinction for my Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice at Liverpool Hope University in 2011.

Research Activities

My research activities including writing up publications on the application of stable isotopes as intrinsic markers in ecology, and developing new projects on pollinator decline and the ecology of the northern tiger beetle in the UK, and the ecology of felids in Mexico.


Tigar, Barbara and Hursthouse, Andrew S (2016) Using elemental profiling to determine intrinsic markers to track the dispersal of Prostephanus truncatus, a pest of stored grain with alternative natural hosts. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 160 (1). pp. 83-90. ISSN 0013-8703 Item availability may be restricted.

Martinez, Jose, Camara, Luisa, Tigar, Barbara and Castillo, Ofelia (2016) "Relationship between carbon stocks and structural diversity in humid and subhumid tropical forest of Mexico ". Écoscience, 22 (2-4). pp. 125-131. ISSN 1195-6860 Item availability may be restricted.

Tigar, B and Hursthouse, AS (2016) Applying biogeochemistry to identify the geographic origins of insects - a model using prostephanus truncatus. Journal of Environmental Studies . ISSN 2471-4879

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TEACHING activities and responsibilities

I am a lecturer in Environmental Biology and Ecology, and teach on the BSc Biology. 

External Affiliations and Roles

  • External Examiner MRes in Biology, Edge Hill University
  • Member of grant review college for the British Ecological Society
  • Member of the Agriculture and Environment Grant Review Panel for British Council Researcher Links 


Tigar B J & Hursthouse AS (2015). Track me if you can. Intrinsic markers of dispersal. British Ecological Society Winter meeting Edinburgh, December 2015

Tigar B J & Hursthouse AS (2015). It's elementary. Using biogeochemical markers to track insect pests. British Ecological Society Symposium. The ecology and evolution of emerging plant pests and pathogens: Challenges to global food security and ecosystem resilience, At Penryn Campus, University of Exeter, Cornwall UK, July 2015

Sampath SAC & Tigar BJ (2014). Local Differences in the Alignment of Osteoarthritic Knees in the North West of England.14th Annual Meeting of International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery(CAOS), Milan, Italy.