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Dr Philip Pugh

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Animal and environmental biology
Research Supervision:

Philip teaches on our BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation course. His recent research has centred on Antarctic biogeography, cladistics and multivariate analysis.

[email protected]


Philip graduated from University of Wales Swansea in 1980 and stayed on to work as a teaching assistant while he completed his PhD on the biology of marine mites. He then spent a year at the University of Cambridge studying for a postgraduate certificate in education.

Philip taught biology at Bromley High School for Girls, and at Swansea University. He then joined the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) at Cambridge in 1990, taking part in two expeditions to the Falklands Islands and South Georgia followed by, with the South African National Antarctic Programme, one expedition to Marion Island.

Philip’s Antarctic research initially focused on shoreline biology, particularly the ecology and taxonomy of shoreline mites, ecology of shoreline algae (seaweeds) and the impact of iceberg damage on shoreline ecology. Much of the material he collected at South Georgia proved challenging to identify and this prompted new work on technical developments in scanning-electron/scanning-ion microscopy as well as the broader biodiversity and origin of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic non-marine fauna.

In 2000, Philip joined ARU to teach conservation biology and develop new marine biology modules.

Research interests
  • Antarctic biogeography: I have, since 1990, been working on the non-marine fauna of Antarctic and the islands of the Southern Ocean, initially collating distribution databases to mites, spiders, crustaceans and molluscs. More recently I have used these databases as tools to explore the possible origins of the 'far-southern' fauna in the context of Antarctic geological and glaciological history
  • Cladistics and multivariate analyses: since joining ARU in 2000 I have developed cladistic multivariate analyses to both enhance my research on Antarctic biodiversity and as core computer methods for my third-year biogeography module. My research has involved applying these techniques to the analysis of very disparate data sets including the interaction between tardigrades and continental drift, dogs and their toys, seabirds and fish hooks, ladybirds and their fungal pathogens, the identity of a remote island snail, and the impact of tourists on Antarctic ecology.

Philip is a member of our Applied Ecology Research Group.

Areas of research supervision
  • MSc Open University: S.J. McInnes, Taxonomy and ecology of Tardigrada from Antarctic lakes, 1996
  • Commonwealth (post-doctoral) scholarship, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa: D.J. Marshall, Systematics of sub-Antarctic shoreline Acari, 2000
  • PhD Anglia Ruskin University: N. Januszewska, Molecular systematics of Dictyostelids (slime moulds), 2011
  • PhD Anglia Ruskin University: S.J. McInnes, Tardigrada & Antarctic meiofauna, 2011

Philip welcomes enquiries from prospective research students in the areas of his research interests and expertise.

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


BSc (Hons) Marine Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation

  • BSc Zoology, University of Wales Swansea, 1980
  • PhD Marine Biology, University of Wales Swansea, 1985
  • PGCE Biology with Integrated Science, University of Cambridge, 1988
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow, Linnean Society of London
  • Fellow, Zoological Society of London
  • Member, Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • Member, Systematics Association
  • Member, Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • Fellow, Royal Entomological Society of London
Selected recent publications

McInnes, S.J. and Pugh, P.J.A., 2013. The impact of tourists on Antarctic tardigrades: an ordination-based model. Journal of Limnology, 72, pp.128-135.

Pugh, P.J.A., 2013. Why are there so few ‘far-southern’ myriapods? Journal of Natural History, doi: 10.1080/00222933.2013.791890.

Pugh, P.J.A. and Lewis-Smith, R.I., 2011. Notodiscus (Charopidae) on South Georgia: some implications of shell size, shell shape and site isolation in a singular sub-Antarctic land snail. Antarctic Science, 23, pp.442-448.

Ridley, C., Harrison, N.M. and Pugh, P.J.A., 2010. Identifying the origins of fishing gear ingested by seabirds foraging over the Southern Ocean: a novel multivariate approach. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 20, pp.621-631.

Ormond, E.L., Thomas, A.P.M., Pugh, P.J.A., Pell, J.K. and Roy, H.E., 2010. A fungal pathogen in time and space: the population dynamics of Beauveria bassiana in a conifer forest. Microbial Ecology, 74, pp.146-154.

Phillips, R.A., Ridley, C., Reid, K., Pugh, P.J.A., Tuck, G.N. and Harrison, N., 2010. Ingestion of fishing gear and entanglement of seabirds: monitoring and implications for management. Biological Conservation, 143, pp.501-512.

Recent presentations and conferences

Clements, D., Thomas, A., Hartley, V. and Pugh, P.J.A., 2012. Assessing genetic diversity in stem boring, twin spotted (Archanara geminipunctata) and brown veined (Archarachna dissoluta), wainscot moths in UK fragmented reedbeds. ENTO’12 - Royal Entomological Society National Science Meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

McInnes, S.J. and Pugh, P.J.A., 2012. The role of human activity in the distribution and population dynamic of soil Tardigrada on the maritime Antarctic Peninsula. 12th International Symposium on Tradigrada, Gaia, Portugal.

Thomas, A., Hartley, V., Pugh, P.J.A. and Clements, D., 2011. Genetic differentiation of the twin-spotted wainscot moth (Archanara geminipunctata) in UK Phragmites australis reed beds. 44th Annual Population Genetics Group Meeting (Genetics Society), University of Hull.