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Dr Kelvin Peh BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Lecturer in Conservation Science, Principal Investigator Conservation Ecology and Ecosystem Services

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Dr Kelvin Peh joined Biological Sciences and the Institute for Life Sciences in February 2013 as a Research Career Track Lecturer. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University.

Having spent most of his career pursuing his life-long interest in conservation ecology–mostly in the tropics, Dr Peh’s education benefitted from the direct input and experience of top academics, such as the late Navjot Sodhi from the National University of Singapore, Johnny de Jong of the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Simon Lewis from Leeds University, and Andrew Balmford from Cambridge University. Now at the faculty, he takes a particular pleasure in one aspect of academic life: mentoring research students. And he hopes to give them the same wide, if speedy, grounding that covers a broad range of conservation science.

Career History

2017-present: Lecturer. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2013-present: Visiting Fellow. Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK.
2013-2017: Research Career Track Lecturer. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2012-2016: Researcher. St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK.
2011-2013: AXA Post-Doctoral Fellow. Department of Zoology. University of Cambridge, UK.
2010-2011: Research Associate, Department of Zoology. University of Cambridge, UK.
2006-2008: Marie Curie EST Fellow. Earth and Biosphere Institute, University of Leeds, UK.

Academic Qualifications

2014-2015: Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Southampton, UK.
PhD Biophysical Geography. University of Leeds, UK.
2002 -2003: MSc Biodiversity. Swedish Agricultural University and Uppsala University, Sweden.
1996-2000: BSc (Hon.) Animal Biology and Botany. National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Research interests

Kelvin Peh’s interests range from forest ecology to urban wildlife in respect to diversity and distribution. He is interested in all areas of wildlife-human conflicts and wildlife ecology in human-dominated landscapes, and in the application of his research results to the conservation/management of biological resources.

Tropical Forest Ecology – Kelvin’s work on monodominance in tropical tree-dominated systems - has helped rekindle scientific interest in this fascinating, yet relatively unexplored phenomenon in tropical forests. He has completed editing – as a principal editor – a “Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology” that was published by Routledge under its “Earthscan” imprint.

Ecosystem Services – Kelvin is best known for his leading role in the development of TESSA (Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment; He continues working on this ecosystem service assessment project to develop and test novel tools for rapidly assessing the net impact of site-based conservation on the provision of ecosystem services. This project runs in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, BirdLife International, Tropical Biology Association, Anglia Ruskin University and UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Biodiversity and Conservation – Kelvin has a strong interest in topics such as invasive alien species and environmental governance. Also he proposes to continue developing the theme of diversity-functioning relationship in the tropics. He plans to initiate new projects that involve large spatial data sets, in Southeast Asia and central Africa where issues such as species habitat loss and environmental degradation are becoming very pressing. His future research plans also include initiating a project to investigate the environmental impact of China’s involvement in Africa. The purpose of this project is to analyse not the political or developmental implications of China’s policies, but their ecological and social-economic consequences on Africa.

PhD Supervision

Erik Mata Guel (2019–present): Impacts of climate change on tropical montane forest biodiversity, functioning and services. Funded by CONACTY, Mexico
Timothy Sykes
(2019 –present): Investigating cultural contributions from chalk streams and their winterbournes and aquifers. Funded by Environment Agency
Peter Symes
(2019-present): Effects of environmental change on tropical montane bats. Funded by NERC INSPIRE DTP
Connor Butler (2018–present): Tropical montane forests: the ecology and conservation of cryptic anurans. Funded by NERC SPITFIRE DTP.
Martin Watts (2018–present): Climate change impacts on agroforestry livelihoods in Tanzania. Funded by ESRC South Coast DTP.
Evie Morris (2017–present): How will greening the desert affect bats and the ecosystem services they provide? Funded by NERC SPITFIRE DTP.
Jennifer Ball (2016–present): Measuring and optimising multiple ecosystem services provided by chalk streams. Funded by Vitacress Conservation Trust and School of Biological Sciences.
Constance Tremlett (Oct 2015–present): Bat pollination services: their importance and vulnerability to environmental change. Funded by NERC SPITFIRE DTP.
Dominic Phillips (2020-present): Effects of fragmentation and environmental change on tropical montane moths. Funded by NERC INSPIRE DTP and School of Biological Sciences

Peh Lab Alumni

Malcolm Soh (2015–2019): Effects of environmental change on tropical montane forest amphibian and birds in Peninsular Malaysia. External student funded by the University of Western Australia
Adham Ashton-Butt
(PhD, 2015–2019): Factors influencing biodiversity, functioning and ecosystem services in oil palm landscapes. Funded by NERC SPITFIRE DTP and School of Biological Sciences.
Emma Joslin (PhD, 2014–2018): Perimeter land management for pollination and pest control services in apple orchards. Funded by NERC CASE Studentship and Sainsbury’s.
Fabrizia Ratto (PhD, 2014–2018): Estimating consequences of losing pollination services: an evaluation on pollinator dependency of plants. Funded by Institute for Life Sciences and School of Biological Sciences.
Ana Giovanetti (MRes, 2017–2018): The effects of grazing management and herbivore density on vegetation and soil in the Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Lauren Hale (MRes, 2017–2018): Habitat selection of the Asian elephant in a protected area, China.
Lisa Jones (MRes, 2016–2017): A rapid assessment of cultural ecosystem services provided by chalk streams.
Dominic Wells (MRes, 2016–2017): The impact of land use change on the phenology of tropical montane birds in Peninsular Malaysia.
Tom Wingrave (MRes, 2014–2015): Socio-economic and ecological correlates of African antelope conservation status.

Research group

Environmental Biosciences

Affiliate research groups

Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS), Ecology and Evolution

Research project(s)

The effects of climate change on the distribution, biodiversity and ecosystem services of tropical montane forests

Bat pollination services: their importance and vulnerability to environmental changes

This project aims to determine the dependence of Stenocereus queretaroensis on bat pollination; in order to demonstrate their importance and the risk of losing them, both ecologically and socio-economically, in the face of environmental changes.

Tropical Montane Forests: The Ecology and Conservation of Cryptic Anurans

The project aims to develop methods for assessing the status of cryptic tropical montane anurans and the drivers of their decline, leading to a framework for monitoring these indicator species.

Estimating the net economic consequences of losing pollination services

This project aims at estimating the economic, ecological cultural and social consequences of the decline of pollinators to human well-being.

Rapid assessment of biodiversity and biogeochemical processing across tropical land-use gradients

This project aims to understand how anthropogenic disturbance can alter the interactions between the flora, fauna and abiotic environment that form an ecosystem.

Measuring and optimising multiple ecosystem services provided by chalk streams

This project aims to understand the trade-offs and links between the provision of ecosystem services and patterns of biodiversity in the chalk streams of Hampshire.

Tropical montane forests: investigating the effects of fragmentation and environmental change on montane moths (Lepidoptera)

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Book Chapters

Module co-ordinator/Lecturer

BIOL2041 Conservation Management Field Course
BIOL3074 Global Challenges in Biology
BIOL6096 Global Challenges in Biology


BIOL2008 Quantitative Methods in Biological and Environmental Science
BIOL3068 Fluxes, Cycles and Microbial Communities
BIOL3070 Tropical Field Ecology


BIOL3031 Literature Research Project
BIOL3060 Science Communication
BIOL3061 Field Research Project
BIOL6069 Advanced Field Research Project

Professional Affiliations

2018-present: Associate Editor. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change
2016-present: Editorial Board. Biology Letters.
2015-present: Review Editor. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
2015-present: Member of the pre-proposal evaluation panel of the French National Research Agency (ANR).
2014-present: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).
2013-present: Visiting Fellow. Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK.
2012-2016: Researcher. St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK.

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

Room Number : 85/4041

Dr Kelvin Peh's personal home page
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