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Dr Peter Brown

Associate Professor

Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Animal and environmental biology
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

Peter’s key area of research is ladybird ecology. He's joint scheme organiser of the UK Ladybird Survey and co-author of three recent books on ladybirds.

[email protected]

For further information about ladybird ecology research, please visit the Ladybird Survey website


Peter has worked at Anglia Ruskin University since 2010, initially as a Research Fellow. He became a Lecturer in Zoology in 2011, a Senior Lecturer in 2013 and an Associate Professor in 2022. Prior to joining our University, from 2005 to 2008 Peter worked as an ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH). He completed his PhD studying the harlequin ladybird in 2010. Peter works collaboratively with researchers at various institutions in Britain (especially UKCEH and the University of Hull), Europe (e.g. Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic) and Chile. He works closely with Prof Helen Roy from UKCEH.

Research interests

  • Ladybird ecology
  • The effects of non-native species on native biodiversity
  • Utilising citizen science in ecology, e.g. UK Ladybird Survey and COST Action CA17122 (Increasing understanding of alien species through citizen science)
  • Global spread and effects of the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis
  • Intraguild predation among arthropods: detection using molecular tools
  • Benefits and risks of exotic biological control agents

Peter is a member of our Applied Ecology Research Group and the director of the Citizen Science Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

  • Ladybird ecology
  • Insect ecology
  • Citizen science

Peter would be pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD researchers.

Find out more about our Biology PhD including our exciting PhD project opportunities.


Peter leads the undergraduate module ‘Invertebrate Biology’ and two postgraduate modules ‘Distributions, Landscapes & Conservation’ and ‘Study Tour: Understanding Biodiversity & Sustainability’. He teaches on various other modules including ‘Introduction to Ecology & Conservation’ and ‘Field Skills in Biology’.


  • PhD: The spread of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Europe and its effects on native ladybirds - Anglia Ruskin University (2010)
  • BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation - Anglia Ruskin University (2004)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Co-leader, UK Ladybird Survey
  • Editorial board, Nature in Cambridgeshire
  • Fellow, Royal Entomological Society
  • Honorary Fellow, British Naturalists' Association
  • Member, British Ecological Society

Selected recent publications

Alien CSI, 2023. Using citizen science with alien species: a practical guide for project initiators. Available under Creative Commons Zero Universal licence at doi: 10.5281/zenodo.7521429

Crowley, L.M., Barclay, M., Roy, H.E. and Brown, P.M.J., 2023. The genome sequence of the orange ladybird, Halyzia sedecimguttata (Linnaeus, 1758) Wellcome Open Res 2023, 8:186 (doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.19369.1

Meeus, S., Silva‐Rocha, I., Adriaens, T., Brown, P.M.J., Chartosia, N., Claramunt-López, B., Martinou, A.F., Pocock, M., Preda, C., Roy, H.E., Tricarico, E., Groom, Q., 2023. More than a Bit of Fun: The Multiple Positive Outcomes of a Bioblitz. Bioscience 73(3): 168–181. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biac100

Anđelković, A.A., Lawson Handley, L., Marchante, E., Adriaens, T., Brown, P.M.J., Tricario, E. and Verbrugge, L.N.H., 2022. A review of volunteers' motivations to monitor and control invasive alien species. Neobiota 73: 153–175. doi: 10.3897/neobiota.73.79636

Brown, P.M.J., Zaviezo, T., Grez, A., Adriaens, T., San Martin, G., Roy, H.E. & Soares, A.O., 2022. Invasive intraguild predators: evidence of their effects, not assumptions. Ecological Entomology 47(3): 249-252. doi: 10.1111/een.13116

Farrow, R., Roy, H.E. & Brown, P.M.J., 2022. The rare five-spot ladybird (Coccinella quinquepunctata: Coccinellidae) surviving in an invaded habitat. Frontiers in Conservation Science 2: 759038. doi: 10.3389/fcosc.2021.759038

Farrow, R., Roy, H.E. & Brown, P.M.J., 2022. Ladybird communities in rural woodlands: does an invader dominate? Frontiers in Conservation Science 3: 759046. doi: 10.3389/fcosc.2022.759046

Price-Jones, V., Brown, P.M.J., Adriaens, T., Tricarico, E., Farrow, R.A., Cardoso, A.C., Gervasini, E., Groom, Q., Reyserhove, L., Schade, S., Tsinaraki, C. & Marchante, E., 2022. Eyes on the aliens: citizen science contributes to research, policy and management of biological invasions in Europe. Neobiota 78: 1-24. doi: 10.3897/neobiota.78.81476

Soares, A.O., Haelewaters, D., Ameixa, O.M.C.C., Borges, I., Brown, P.M.J., Cardoso, P., Evans, E.W., Grez, A.A., Hochkirch, A., Honěk, A., Kulfan, J., Lillebø, A., Gardiner, M., Martinková, Z., Nedvěd, O., Omkar, Roy, H.E., Saxena, S., Shandilya, A., Sentis, A., Skuhrovec, J., Viglášová, S., Zach, P., Zaviezo, T., Losey, J.E., 2022. A roadmap for ladybird conservation and recovery. Conservation Biology 37: e13965. doi: 10.1111/cobi.13965

Skuhrovec, J., Roy, H.E., Brown, P.M.J., Kazlauskis, K., Inghilesi, A.F., Soares, A.O., Adriaens, T., Roy, D.B., Nedvěd, O., Zach, P., Viglášová, S., Kulfan, J., Honěk, A. and Martinková, Z., 2021. Development of the European Ladybirds smartphone application: a tool for Citizen Science. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9:741854. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.741854

Honek, A., Brown, P. M. J., Martinkova, Z., Skuhrovec, J., Brabec, M., Burgio, G., Evans, E. W., Fournier, M., Grez, A. A., Kulfan, J. and Lami, F., 2020. Factors determining variation in colour morph frequencies in invasive Harmonia axyridis populations. Biological Invasions, 22, pp. 2049–2062.

Kulfan, J., Zach, P., Holec, J., Brown, P. M. J., Sarvašová, L., Skuhrovec, J., Martinková, Z., Honěk, A., Váľka, J., Holecová, M. and Saniga, M., 2020. The Invasive Box Tree Moth Five Years after Introduction in Slovakia: Damage Risk to Box Trees in Urban Habitats. Forests, 11(9), p. 999.

Brown, P. M. J., Harrower, C., Dean, H. J ., Rorke, S. L., Roy, H. E., 2018. Spread of a model invasive alien species - the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis in Britain and Ireland. Scientific Data, 5, 180239. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.239

Brown, P. M. J., Roy, H. E., 2018. Decline in native ladybird species caused by the invasive harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis: evidence from a long-term field study. Insect Conservation & Diversity, 11(3), pp. 230-239.

Recent presentations and conferences

Brown, P.M.J. & Roy, H. E., 2022. XXVI International Congress of Entomology, Helsinki, Finland, 17/07/2022 to 22/07/2022. Symposium organiser: Citizen science and alien species. https://ice2020helsinki.fi/

Roy, H. E. & Brown, P.M.J., 2022. Contributions of citizen science to understanding patterns and trends in the distribution of ladybirds in the UK. XXVI International Congress of Entomology, Helsinki, Finland, 17/07/2022 to 22/07/2022.

Brown, P.M.J., Adriaens, T., Tricarico, E., Farrow, R., Price-Jones, V., Reyserhove, L., Roy, H. E., Groom, Q., Schade, S., Cardoso, A. C., Gervasini, E., Tsinaraki, C., Marchante, E., 2020. Citizen science for invasive alien species: a preliminary analysis for Europe. Neobiota - European Group on Biological Invasions, Vodice, Croatia. 15-18/09/2020.

Brown, P.M.J., Roy, H. E., 2018. Ladybird community change induced by the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis: evidence from a long-term field study in the UK. IOBC / WPRS Working Group - Benefits and Risks of Exotic Biological Control Agents, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. 12-14/09/2018.

Brown, P.M.J., Roy, H. E., 2018. Tracking an alien: the spread and effects of Harmonia axyridis in the UK. Entomological Society of America: First International Branch Virtual Symposium. 16-18/04/2018. Invited plenary talk.

Media experience

Peter has extensive media experience and has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes. These include The One Show (BBC1), Countryfile Diaries (BBC1), News at Ten (BBC1) and The Today Programme (BBC Radio 4).