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Dr Joseph J Bailey

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Conservation , Ecology , Sustainability
Research Supervision:

Joseph’s work explores the relationship between biodiversity and geodiversity (surface and subsurface materials, landforms, and processes) to advance ecological theory, biodiversity modelling, and practical conservation.

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Joseph joined ARU in September 2022, as a Senior Lecturer in Ecology, Conservation and Sustainability. He is a member of the Applied Ecology Research Group.

Joseph previously lectured at York St John University (2018–2022), and did his PhD and held research and teaching positions at the University of Nottingham (2013–2018).

He is Fellow of both the Higher Education Academy (FHEA; also an assessor) and Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), Chair of the British Ecological Society’s (BES) Macroecology Special Interest Group, a member of the IUCN WCPA and its Specialist Group on Geoheritage, and a volunteer lead scientist for Operation Wallacea in Romania (a UK-based conservation research organisation). Joseph welcomes enquiries about PhD projects in relation to the areas discussed below.

Joseph’s PhD was on 'Advancing biodiversity modelling using geodiversity information' and the role of geodiversity in understanding biodiversity remains central to his work across theoretical ecology, biodiversity modelling (e.g. species traits), and applied conservation.

In particular, recent work has tackled the important role that geodiversity (e.g., landforms, geology, hydrology) can and should explicitly play in global conservation practice and policy, given its known importance for many species and ecosystems.

This work also extends to efforts to measure geodiversity consistently worldwide, and Joseph is part of the ‘Essential Geodiversity Variables’ team.

Elsewhere, Joseph recently led a British Ecological Society policy report on 'Protected areas and nature recovery: Achieving the goal to protect 30% of UK land and seas for nature by 2030', which covered marine and terrestrial policy and practice and involved media engagement.

Joseph has worked in the field in the UK, Greenland, Romania (sustainable farming and grasslands), and Madagascar (various projects), and conducted research remotely on Finland (protected areas) and the whole Arctic (productivity change using remote sensing).

Research interests
  • Geodiversity-biodiversity relationships and modelling (globally, and across scales and taxa)
  • Geoheritage
  • Geodiversity in biodiversity conservation
  • Protected areas (monitoring, social aspects, policy, practice)
  • Grassland ecology
Areas of research supervision

Joseph encourages all enquiries on PhD projects broadly relating to protected areas, geodiversity (including its measurement and sustainability), geoheritage, biodiversity modelling, high altitude and high latitude ecology, and grassland ecology. There is a huge amount of important and exciting work to do across all these themes.


Joseph is the module director for Marine and Terrestrial Communities (Level 5) and Field Skills in Biology (Level 5), with contributions elsewhere, including on MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation and on a forensics module relating to the wildlife trade.

  • PhD in Geography, University of Nottingham: Advancing biodiversity modelling using geodiversity information
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
  • Member, British Ecological Society (BES)
  • Chair, BES Macroecology Special Interest Group
  • Fellow, Mentor, and Assessor, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member, IUCN WCPA (The International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas)
  • Member, IUCN WCPA Geoheritage Specialist Group
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • NERC Highlight Topic. Soil survival and re-emergence: the continued threat of plague
  • Journal of Biogeography geodiversity-biodiversity colloquium/workshop grant
  • Royal Society Theo Murphy international scientific meeting on Geodiversity for Science and Society
Selected recent publications

Tukiainen, H. and Bailey, J. J. (2022) 'Enhancing global nature conservation by integrating geodiversity in policy and practice', Conservation Biology. Available at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.14024.

Gordon, J. E., Bailey, J. J. and Larwood, J. G. (2022) 'Conserving nature’s stage provides a foundation for safeguarding both geodiversity and biodiversity in protected and conserved areas', Parks Stewardship Forum, 38(1), pp. 46–56. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5070/P538156118

Lembrechts, J. J., den Hoogen, J., Aalto, J., Ashcroft, M. B., De Frenne, P., Kemppinen, J., Kopecký,, M., Luoto, M., Maclean, I. M. D., Crowther, T. W., … , Bailey, J.  J., …, Nijs, I,, Lenoir, J. (2021) 'Global maps of soil temperature', Global Change Biology. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16060

Lembrechts, J. J., Aalto, J., Ashcroft, M. B., De Frenne, P., Kopecký, M., Lenoir, J., Luoto, M., Maclean, I. M. D., Roupsard, O., Fuentes‐Lillo, E., García, R. A., Pellissier, L., Pitteloud, C., Alatalo, J. M., Smith, S. W., Björk, R. G., Muffler, L., Cesarz, S., Gottschall, F., … , Bailey, J.  J., … Nijs, I. (2020) 'SoilTemp: a global database of near‐surface temperature', Global Change Biology, 131, gcb.15123. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15123

Pett, B. L. and Bailey, J. J. (2019) 'GHOST-BUSTING: Patch occupancy and habitat preferences of Ocyale ghost (Araneae: Lycosidae), a single site endemic in north-western Madagascar', Austral Entomology, 58(4), pp. 875–885. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/aen.12425

Schrodt, F., Bailey, J. J., Kissling, W. D., Rijsdijk, K. F., Seijmonsbergen, A. C., van Ree, D., Hjort, J., Lawley, R. S., Williams, C. N., Anderson, M. G., Beier, P., van Beukering, P., Boyd, D. S., Brilha, J., Carcavilla, L., Dahlin, K. M., Gill, J. C., Gordon, J. E., Gray, M., … Field, R. (2019) 'Opinion: To advance sustainable stewardship, we must document not only biodiversity but geodiversity', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(33), pp. 16155–16158. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1911799116

Bailey, J. J., Boyd, D. S. and Field, R. (2018) 'Models of upland species’ distributions are improved by accounting for geodiversity', Landscape Ecology, 33(12), pp. 2071–2087. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0723-z

Bailey, J. J., Boyd, D. S., Hjort, J., Lavers, C. P. and Field, R. (2017) 'Modelling native and alien vascular plant species richness: At which scales is geodiversity most relevant?', Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26(7), pp. 763–776. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12574

Tukiainen, H., Bailey, J. J., Field, R., Kangas, K. and Hjort, J. (2017) 'Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness', Conservation Biology, 31(2), pp. 364–375. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12799.

Recent presentations and conferences

Invited keynote speaker, Conference, ‘3rd crossing the palaeontological-ecological gap’, Vilnius, Lithuania, Aug 2023.

BES Edinburgh conference, December 2022, Co-leader and speaker of a thematic session entitled 'How can we make the 30×30 target work for biodiversity conservation?' relating to the global 30% protected areas by 2030 target.

BES Macroecology conference, July 2022, Attended.

Invited speaker for Woodland Trust webinar, August 2022.

Invited departmental seminar speaker, University of Essex, May 2022.

Media experience

Interview with ITV Anglia about proposed investment zones, Oct 2022.


Press briefing and interviews associated with the release of BES 30x30 protected areas report, available at https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/policy/protected-areas/