Laura Graham

Laura Graham is a computational landscape ecologist whose primary research aim is to understand how the spatial structure of landscapes can help us reduce trade-offs between competing needs of biodiversity conservation and human wellbeing.

We are currently experiencing a global biodiversity crisis, with many species in decline and/or at risk of extinction. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services shows that 25% of species are threatened. How we manage landscapes is a key driver of this. While we have a reasonable understanding of the effect of habitat amount (hereafter composition), our understanding of the effect of how this is spatially arranged (hereafter configuration, but also known as fragmentation per se) is debated and the influence not well understood. I will provide a systematic and process-based understanding of the independent and combined effects of landscape composition and configuration (hereafter landscape structure). In her IIASA-NERC funded fellowship, Laura will provide a step-change in our understanding of how we can unify the disparate research areas considering landscape structure, and provide answers to key fundamental and applied questions about the impacts of landscape structure on biodiversity, which have hitherto been intractable. 

The research will bring together data synthesis, meta-analysis and systems modelling approaches to gain a systematic understanding of the effects of landscape structure on biodiversity, as well as developing new modelling approaches which allow us to explore future scenarios. 

Read more about Laura’s research here:

More information

Funding: IIASA - NERC Research Fellow

Nationality: UK

Program: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)

Starting date: June 2020

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Last edited: 19 July 2021


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