Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor

Senior Lecturer- Nature-based Solutions

Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor

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About me

About me

I’m an ecologist and conservation biologist investigating how nature-based solutions can be used to tackle the ecological crisis. My research is strongly applied, with a focus on finding effective ways to restore biodiversity (and associated ecosystem functions and services) in anthropogenic landscapes. For example, during my PhD I investigated the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes for bats and nocturnal invertebrates. For the past ten years, my research has primarily focused on assessing the long-term ecological consequences of woodland creation (see e.g. the WrEN project which I co-lead: www.wren-project.com/). Over time my research has become increasingly transdisciplinary, and I currently lead a research project investigating stakeholder perceptions and socio-ecological consequences of woodland expansion through a range of approaches, including planting and allowing trees to colonise new areas naturally (the TreE_PlaNat project: www.uktreescapes.org/projects/tree_planat/).

Brief CV:

• Senior Lecturer in Applied Ecology (University of Stirling, UK 2022-ongoing).
• Science and Monitoring Advisor (Bat Conservation Trust, UK 2021-2022). • Senior Research Fellow (Scotland’s Rural College [SRUC], UK 2020-2022) – Research programme: “Maximising the environmental benefits of woodland creation”.
• Research Fellow (University of Stirling, UK 2013-2021) – Research programme: “Woodland Creation & Ecological Networks; WrEN”. Visit WrEN's webpage.
• Postdoctoral Research Assistant Ecology (University of Stirling, UK 2012) – Research project: “Assessing the effects of micro-turbines on wildlife”.
• Postdoctoral Research Assistant Ecology (University of Stirling, UK 2011-2012) – Research project: “Assessing the effectiveness of farm woodland creation schemes for bats”.
• PhD in Ecology (University of Stirling, UK 2007-2011) – Thesis: “The value of agri-environment schemes and farm woodland for bats and nocturnal insects”. Winner of the Vincent Weir Scientific Award 2011 for making a significant contribution to research on the conservation biology of bats.
• MSc in Environmental Biology (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico 2004-2007) – Thesis: “Edge effects caused by roads on populations of endemic rodents of Cozumel island”.
• BSc (Hons) in Biology, major in Ecology (Universidad de las Americas, Mexico 1999-2003) – Thesis: “Biology of Bombus ephippiatus Say (Hymenoptera, Apidae)”.

I am also a Trustee of Bats without Borders and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Research (5)

Research areas:

• Applied ecology (e.g. finding effective ways to restore biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions and services in human-modified landscapes).
• Effects of anthropogenic disturbances (e.g. habitat fragmentation, agricultural intensification) on wildlife.
• Evaluation of conservation actions (e.g. habitat restoration, agri-environment schemes) for biodiversity.
• Landscape ecology (e.g. influence of landscape composition and configuration on biodiversity).
• Animal ecology and conservation (mainly of bats, small non-volant mammals and invertebrates).
• My current research programme focuses on examining the long-term effects of past woodland creation on current biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to inform future reforestation strategies.


Restoring Resilient Ecosystems
PI: Professor Kirsty Park
Funded by: Natural Environment Research Council

Land sharing vs. land sparing: new insights from ecological-economic modelling
PI: Professor Kirsty Park
Funded by: The Leverhulme Trust

Assessing the impact of mammalian herbivory on the long-term ecological value of woodland creation sites’
PI: Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor
Funded by: Woodland Trust

Using camera traps to quantify the effect of deer on woodland restoration
PI: Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor
Funded by: British Deer Society

Identify the presence of potential insect vectors of Xylella fastidiosa in Scotland
PI: Professor Kirsty Park
Funded by: Plant Health Centre

Outputs (29)


Project Report

Chapman D, A'Hara S, Broadmeadow S, Cairns R, Cottrell J, Fuentes-Montemayor E, Lester K, Occhibove F, Rogerson S, White SM & Park K (2022) Improving knowledge Of Xylella fastidiosa vector ecology: modelling vector occurrence and abundance in the wider landscape in Scotland.. Plant Health Centre. Dundee. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6523478

Research Report

Humphrey J, Watts K, Fuentes-Montemayor E, Macgregor N & Park K (2013) The evidence base for ecological networks: lessons from studies of woodland fragmentation and creation. Report from the WrEn Project, Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey. The Research Agency of the Forestry Commission. http://www.stir.ac.uk/media/schools/naturalscience/bes/images/WrEN_FR_report_2013.pdf



I have experience teaching on subjects such as:

• Conservation Biology (impacts of anthropogenic disturbances & conservation actions on biodiversity).
• Applied Ecology (associations between habitat management, habitat structure and species diversity).
• Animal Ecology (role of life-history traits in determining species responses to environmental change).
• Landscape Ecology (influence of landscape composition & configuration on biological communities).
• Biogeography (applications of island biogeography theory for the spatial design of habitat networks).
• Environmental Policy (e.g. agri-environment schemes).
• Biology Field Skills (surveying methods and species identification skills for bats, non-volant mammals, invertebrates and plants, including on residential field courses abroad).

I have also supervised undergraduate, MSc and PhD student projects.

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