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Professor Philip Stephens
Contact details

Department of Biosciences,
University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE.
Phone: +44 (0)191 334 9102 (Internal 49102, Room 206)
Fax: +44 (0)117 334 1201
E-Mail: Philip.Stephens “at”
Conservation Ecology Group page

Research interests
Behavioural modelling
Citizen science
Conservation of endangered species
Dispersal, group-living and territoriality
Energetics, behaviour and demography
Vertebrate population dynamics

Education and employment

2020 – presentProfessor, Department of Biosciences, Durham University
2017 – 2020Associate Professor (Reader), Department of Biosciences, Durham University
2015 – 2016Panel member, Science Panel to Quality Assure the UK and England Biodiversity Indicators, Defra
2014 – presentSenior Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology
2011 – 2017Senior Lecturer, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham
2007 – 2011Lecturer, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham
2004 – 2007NERC postdoc, Department of Mathematics, University of Bristol
2002 – 2004USDA Forest Service postdoc, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming
2002DEFRA postdoc, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
1998 – 2002PhD, University of East Anglia
1996 – 1997MSc (Distinction): Conservation Biology, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology
1990 – 1993BSc: Zoology, University of Bristol
  • Selected recent publications (for a full list of publications and links to reprints, click here).Howard, C., Flather, C.H. & Stephens, P.A. (2020) A global assessment of the drivers of threatened terrestrial species richness. Nature Communications 11, 993.
  • Stephens, P.A. et al. (2019) The limits to population density in birds and mammals. Ecology Letters 22, 654-663.
  • Stephens, P.A. (2018) Ecology: Luck, Scarcity, and the Fate of Populations. Current Biology 28, R1384-1386.
  • Stephens, P.A. et al. (2016) Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents. Science 352, 84-87.
  • Stephens, P.A. “Population Viability Analysis”. Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology. Ed. David Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press, 25/02/2016. doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199830060-0142.
  • Stephens, P.A. (2015) Land sparing, land sharing, and the fate of Africa’s lions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, 14753-14754.
  • Stephens, P.A. et al. (2014) Capital and income breeding: the role of food supply. Ecology 95, 882-896.
Peer review

I am currently a Senior Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology, a member of the NERC Peer Review College and a member of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology grant panel. I was formerly a handling editor for Endangered Species Research and a member of the Royal Society’s International Exchanges panel. In addition, I have reviewed for a range of journals, including: American Naturalist; Animal Behaviour; Animal Conservation; Behavioral Ecology; Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology; Biology Letters; Biological Reviews; Conservation Letters; Ecological Modelling; Ecology; Ecology Letters; Global Change Biology; Journal of Animal Ecology; Mammal Review; Methods in Ecology & Evolution; Nature Climate Change; Nature Communications; Oikos; Oryx; PLoS One; Population Ecology; PNAS; Science; and Wildlife Research. I have also reviewed book proposals for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press; grant proposals for ESRC and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); and reports for DEFRA.

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