Projects per year
I’m an ecologist and conservation biologist investigating how human activities impact biological communities and ecosystem functioning. My main areas of expertise include animal ecology, woodland ecology, restoration ecology and spatial ecology. I have a track record investigating the consequences of anthropogenic disturbances (e.g. habitat loss and fragmentation) and the effectiveness of conservation actions (e.g. habitat restoration and implementation of agri-environment schemes) for biodiversity. To address these subjects, I study a variety of taxa in human-modified (mainly agricultural) landscapes, using a combination of field surveying techniques, spatial sensing technologies, and novel analytical approaches. My research is strongly applied, with a focus on finding effective ways to restore biodiversity (and associated ecosystem functions and services) in human-modified landscapes.
My current research programme focuses on examining the long-term effects of past woodland creation on current biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to inform future land-use management strategies that maximise environmental benefits accrued by reforestation. I’m particularly interested in understanding how woodland creation can contribute to jointly tackling the biodiversity and climate crises, and investigating trade-offs and synergies between alternative reforestation strategies (e.g. planting fast-growing conifers for carbon sequestration vs. restoring native semi-natural woodlands to alleviate the biodiversity crisis).
I also co-lead the Woodland Creation and Ecological Networks (WrEN) project, a ‘natural experiment’ designed to study the effects of long-term, large-scale woodland creation on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Through WrEN, I investigate biodiversity responses to woodland creation over large spatial (over 15,000 km2) and temporal (up to 160 years) scales, with the aim to assess the relative importance of local vs. landscape-level habitat management to restore biodiversity and ecosystem functions in fragmented landscapes.
- Applied ecology (e.g. finding effective ways to restore biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions and services in human-modified landscapes).
- Animal ecology and conservation (mainly of bats, small non-volant mammals and invertebrates).
- Landscape ecology (e.g. influence of landscape composition and configuration on biodiversity).
- Effects of human disturbances on biodiversity (e.g. habitat fragmentation, agricultural intensification).
- Evaluation of conservation actions for biodiversity (e.g. habitat restoration, agri-environment schemes).
- Current work focuses on examining the long-term effects of past woodland creation on current biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to inform future land-use management strategies that maximise environmental benefits accrued by reforestation.
- 2021-2022: Plant Health Centre “Improving knowledge of Xylella fastidiosa vector ecology”. Fuentes-Montemayor (co-I); £71K.
- 2021-2023: Leverhulme Trust Research Grant “Land-sharing vs. land-sparing: new insights from ecological-economic modelling”. Fuentes-Montemayor (co-I); £289K.
- 2020-2024: NERC Highlight Topics “Restoring Resilient Ecosystems (RestREco)”. Fuentes-Montemayor (researcher co-I); £2M.
- 2020-2022: British Deer Society Research Grant “Using camera traps to quantify the effect of deer on woodland restoration”. Fuentes-Montemayor (PI) £15K.
- 2018-2019: Plant Health Centre “Identifying the presence of potential insect vectors of Xylella fastidiosa in Scotland”. Fuentes-Montemayor (co-I); £8K.
- 2017-2018: Scottish Forestry Trust General Funding Award “Assessing the value of secondary woodlands for biodiversity: implications for woodland creation and management schemes”. Fuentes-Montemayor (PI); £7K.
- 2017-2018: Sustainable Forestry (SCIO) Small Grant “Secondary woodland biodiversity value”. Fuentes-Montemayor (PI); £7K.
- 2013-2020: University of Stirling, Forest Research, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, National Forest Company, Defra, Woodland Trust and Tarmac “Woodland Creation and Ecological Networks (WrEN)”. Fuentes-Montemayor (co-I & named researcher); £850K.
- 2011-2012: People’s Trust for Endangered Species UK Mammal Grant “Assessing the effectiveness of farm woodland creation schemes for bats”. Fuentes-Montemayor (named researcher); £12K.
- 2009: Bat Conservation International Student Research Scholarship. “The influence of size, isolation and structure of woodland patches on bat populations within agricultural landscapes”. Fuentes-Montemayor (PI); $3K USD.
- 2007-2011: CONACyT PhD Scholarship “The value of agri-environment schemes and farm woodland for bats and nocturnal insects”. Fuentes-Montemayor (personal award); University fees & student stipend.
I have experience lecturing and running practical sessions in MSc and undergraduate level modules. I have taught on subjects such as: Animal Ecology (e.g. role of life-history traits in determining species responses to environmental change); Conservation Biology (e.g. impacts of anthropogenic disturbances and conservation actions on biodiversity); Applied Ecology (e.g. associations between habitat management, habitat structure and species diversity); Landscape Ecology (e.g. influence of landscape composition and configuration on biological communities); Biogeography (e.g. 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, small mammals, invertebrates and plants, including on residential field courses). I also supervise dissertation projects for undergraduate and MSc students (as main and co-supervisor), and co-supervise PhD students.
I have supervised 15+ undergraduate and 10+ MSc dissertations to date, and co-supervised the following PhD projects:
- 2014-2018: “Assessing the effects of landscape structure on woodland birds”. University of Stirling (funded by NERC IAPETUS DTP).
- 2016-ongoing: (part-time) ”Bat populations in anthropogenic landscapes in Zambia”. University of Stirling (self-funded project).
- 2019-ongoing: “Above and below-ground ecological linkages in temperate forest soils”. University of Stirling (co-funded by University of Stirling and Forest Research).
- 2020-ongoing: “Does woodland use by bats depend on landscape context? Implications for woodland creation schemes”. University of Stirling (funded by NERC IAPETUS DTP).
PhD, University of Stirling
1 Sep 2007 → 31 Aug 2011
Award Date: 1 Nov 2011
Master, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
1 Sep 2004 → 1 Jan 2007
Award Date: 1 Jan 2007
Bachelor, Universidad de las Americas Puebla
1 Sep 1999 → 1 Dec 2003
Award Date: 1 Dec 2003
Biological & Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling
Nov 2011 → Mar 2021
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1/03/21 → 28/02/23
The long-term development of temperate woodland creation sites: from tree saplings to mature woodlandsFuentes-Montemayor, E., Park, K. J., Cordts, K. & Watts, K., 3 Jun 2021, (First published) In: Forestry. 10 p., cpab027.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile12 Downloads (Pure)
Coomes, D., Bowditch, E., Burton, V., Chamberlain, B., Donald, F., Egedusevic, M., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Hall, J., Jones, A. G., Lines, E., Waring, B., Warner, E. & Weatherall, A., 2021, Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change in the UK: A Report by the British Ecological Society. Stafford, R., Chamberlain, B., Clavey, L., Gillingham, P. K., McKain, S., Morecroft, M. D., Morrison-Bell, C. & Watts, O. (eds.). London, UK: British Ecological Society, p. 24-37
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile29 Downloads (Pure)
Watts, K., Whytock, R. C., Park, K. J., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Macgregor, N. A., Duffield, S. & McGowan, P. J. K., Mar 2020, In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. 4, 3, p. 304-311 8 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-review
Regional land-use and local management create scale-dependent ‘landscapes of fear’ for a common woodland birdWhytock, R. C., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Watts, K., Macgregor, N. A., Call, E., Mann, J. A. & Park, K. J., Mar 2020, In: Landscape Ecology. 35, 3, p. 607-620 14 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Small mammal responses to long-term large-scale woodland creation: the influence of local and landscape-level attributesFuentes-Montemayor, E., Ferryman, M., Watts, K., Macgregor, N. A., Hambly, N., Brennan, S., Coxon, R., Langridge, H. & Park, K. J., 2 Mar 2020, In: Ecological Applications. 30, 2, e02028.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor (Member)Oct 2018 → …
Activity: Membership types › Membership of network
Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor (Member)1 Mar 2016 → …
Activity: Membership types › Membership of panel
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