The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
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Dr Jane Catford BA, BSc (Hons), PhD

Lecturer in Ecology, Principle Investigator Invasion and community ecology

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Dr Jane Catford joined Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton as a Lecturer in Community Ecology in July 2016.

Career History

2016-present: Lecturer. University of Southampton, UK.
2016-present: Honorary Research Fellow. School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
2012-ongoing: Visiting Fellow. Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University, Australia.
2012-2016: ARC Research Fellow (Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award; ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions). The University of Melbourne, Australia.
2012-2015: International Scholar. Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, University of Minnesota, USA.
2009-2012: Research Fellow. School of Botany, The University of Melbourne. (funding from: Australian Weeds Research Centre; Applied Environmental Decision Analysis; National Climate Change Research Adaptation Facility).
2009-2011: Vegetation Specialist on “River Health & Environmental Flows in China”. Australia-China Environment Development Program.

Academic Qualifications

2003: BA, BSc (Hons). Monash University, Australia.
2009: PhD. University of Melbourne, Australia.






Research interests

I am a plant ecologist with an interest in community assembly and invasion ecology. I am particularly interested in how environmental and geographic factors affect the functional composition of plant communities at the landscape scale, and I focus on invasion ecology to tackle such questions. Humans can alter “natural” community assembly rules by altering environmental filters and dispersal patterns. Increased understanding of the role of these factors could be used to alleviate some of the ecological degradation caused by humans.

While rooted in community and invasion ecology, my work and interests extend to succession, species coexistence, disturbance, ecosystem restoration, vegetation management, novel ecosystems, assisted colonization, river health, environmental flows and climate change. To tackle these topics, I typically combine ecological theory with empirical and quantitative approaches and I collaborate widely. Working with a broad range of people is easily one of the highlights of my job.

More details about my research interests and projects can be found on my personal website Jane Catford.

PhD Supervision

Estíbaliz Palma (primary supervisor): Linking species invasiveness and ecosystem invasibility. Melbourne International Research Scholarship and ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Melbourne
Saras Windecker (primary supervisor): Effect of plant traits on stocks of wetland carbon. Melbourne International Research Scholarship and ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Melbourne.
David Johnson (co-supervisor): Landscape-scale restoration of native forbs in modified woodlands and grasslands. ACT Government, Australian National University
Shana Nerenberg (co-supervisor): Impacts of land use and revegetation on native plant diversity in agricultural landscapes. Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian National University.
Andrew O’Reilly-Nugent (co-supervisor): Use of coexistence theory to understand biological invasions. Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Canberra.
Decky Juneadi (co-supervisor):Using plant traits to inform invasive plant risk assessments of exotic flora for use in Botanic Gardens. Melbourne International Research Scholarship, University of Melbourne.
Urvashi Sanwal (co-supervisor):Biogeographic comparison of the impacts of Acacia mearnsii in its native and introduced range. University of Delhi, India.

Research group

Ecology and Evolution

Affiliate research group

Plants and Food Security


Book Chapters

External Affiliations

Associate Editor, Journal of Ecology
Associate Editor, Neobiota
Associate Editor, Ecological Society of Australia’s Hot Topics
Technical Reference Panel for Victorian state government (Australia) on their Wetland Environmental Flows Monitoring and Assessment Program

Dr Jane Catford
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number:85/6049

Dr Jane Catford's personal home page
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