Dr Isabel Jones

Senior Research Fellow

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

Dr Isabel Jones

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About me

About me

I am a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and PI of The Beacon Project (MR/T019018/1). I work across the environmental and social sciences to understand complex human-environment interactions in order to address global to local challenges.

Brief Biography

  • Lecturer in Biodiversity & Conservation (2018-2020; University of Stirling)
  • Postdoc / Research Fellow in Tropical Ecology and Conservation Conflicts (2017-2020; University of Stirling and UN-AEWA)
  • PhD in Tropical Ecology and Conservation (2013-2017)
  • Policy intern and Contributing Author (2012-2013; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew & CABI, respectively)
  • MRes. Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (2011-2012; Imperial College London)
  • Research Assistant and Outdoors Instructor (2009-2011; various conservation and outdoors organisations)
  • BSc. (hons; 1st class) Environmental Biology (2005-2008; University of Plymouth)

I am Chair of the British Ecological Society Scottish Policy Group, working to link ecological science and policy-makers in Scotland. I am also a Methods Expert for EKLIPSE, bridging the gap between policy and knowledge on biodiversity in Europe.

Other Project

Principal Investigator (GCRF 100684)

Principal Investigator for GCRF-funded project "Dam-B: investigating the environmental and social dimensions of dam construction in Brazil" Funding awarded: £30, 715 GCRF 100684

Professional Career

Chair: British Ecological Society Scottish Policy Group
The British Ecological Society

Committee Member: British Ecological Society Scottish Policy Group

Methods Expert for EKLIPSE

Professional qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Higher Education Academy

MTA Summer Mountain Leader

Research (1)

My goal is to find new, positive ways to tackle global and local challenges involving people and biodiversity as we pursue sustainable development, biodiversity conservation and action on climate change.

In my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship - The Beacon Project - I combine biodiversity and energy justice to identify and manage conflicts between Sustainable Development Goals, using hydropower as a model system (MR/T019018/1).

I am a community ecologist by training and now work across the environmental and social sciences to understand socio-environmental interactions in relation to natural resource use and decision-making. Boosting equity and justice in global-to-local decision-making is a core driver of my research.

Please visit The Beacon Project website to learn more about my research!

PhD: My PhD focused on the biodiversity impacts of hydropower in Amazonia, and the carbon dynamics of regenerating secondary tropical forests in Panama. I continue to pursue research under the broad umbrella of biodiversity response to environmental change and anthropogenic disturbance, and collaborate with researchers in the UK, USA, Brazil, and Panama.

Postdocs: As a Postdoc I developed my interdisciplinary skills and interest in conservation conflicts. For example, I worked with project partners in Kazakhstan and the UN-AEWA to assess motivations for the illegal hunting of Lesser White-fronted geese. I also worked with Scottish farmers to understand their values and preferences in terms of managing the goose-agriculture conflict in Orkney. Alongside these projects, I also worked on projects relating to tropical forest regeneration and carbon storage.


The Beacon Project: Using Biodiversity and Energy justice to resolve Conflicts between Sustainable Development Goals
PI: Dr Isabel Jones
Funded by: Medical Research Council

Outputs (23)



van der Sande MT, Powers JS, Kuyper TW, Norden N, Salgado-Negret B, Silva de Almeida J, Bongers F, Delgado D, Dent DH, Derroire G, Marcos do Espírito Santo M, Dupuy JM, Wilson Fernandes G, Jones IL & Poorter L (2023) Soil resistance and recovery during Neotropical forest succession. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 378 (1867), Art. No.: 20210074. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2021.0074


Jones IL, Timoshenko A, Zuban I, Zhadan K, Cusack JJ, Duthie AB, Hodgson ID, Minderman J, Pozo RA, Whytock RC & Bunnefeld N (2022) Achieving international biodiversity targets: learning from local norms, values and actions regarding migratory waterfowl management in Kazakhstan. Journal of Applied Ecology, 59 (7), pp. 1911-1924. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.14198

Manual / Guide

Healy A, Kadungure A, Smith C, McFee E, Nakebembe E, Jones I, Fledderjohann J, McQuaid K, Le Doare K, Contractor S & Rashid S (2022) The NCRM wayfinder guide to equitable research relations in and after Covid-19. Southampton: National Centre for Research Methods. https://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4561/

Book Chapter

Hodgson ID, Cusack J, Jones I, Minderman J, Nilsson L, Pozo RA, Rakotonarivo OS & Bunnefeld N (2021) Building Peace to Save Nature: Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Managing Conflicts in Conservation. In: Underkoffler SC & Adams HR (eds.) Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation: Multidisciplinary and Forensic Approaches. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-64682-0_1

Book Chapter

Jones IL, Saldanha Bueno A, Benchimol M, Palmeirim AF, Storck-Tonon D & Peres CA (2021) Using relict species-area relationships to estimate the conservation value of reservoir islands to improve environmental impact assessments of dams. In: Matthews TJ, Triantis KA & Whittaker RJ (eds.) The Species-Area Relationship: Theory and Application. Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 417-437. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108569422.023


Jones IL, DeWalt SJ, Lopez OR, Bunnefeld L, Pattison Z & Dent DH (2019) Above- and belowground carbon stocks are decoupled in secondary tropical forests and are positively related to forest age and soil nutrients respectively. Science of The Total Environment, 697, Art. No.: 133987. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133987

Research Report

Jones I, Whytock R & Bunnefeld N (2017) Assessing Motivations for the Illegal Killing of Lesser White-fronted Geese at Key Sites in Kazakhstan (2017). UN-AEWA. AEWA Lesser White-fronted Goose International Working Group Report Series, 6. Bonn, Germany. https://www.unep-aewa.org/en/publication/assessing-motivations-illegal-killing-lesser-white-fronted-geese-key-sites-kazakhstan



Lecturer in Biodiversity and Conservation (2018-2020; fixed-term maternity cover position).

As a lecturer I coordinated three Undergraduate modules: Field Biology, Biogeography, Conservation Management. I contributed to additional modules in Statistics, Plant Ecology, and The Biosphere.

As a Senior Research Fellow I now give guest lectures for various modules across Biological and Environmental Sciences. I also supervise three Undergraduate dissertation students who are focusing their research on biodiversity, carbon and sustainability. I co-supervise PhD students researching forest ecology and conservation.

I gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in 2020.