Dr Rick Stafford

Dr Rick Stafford

Principal Lecturer in Environmental Sciences

Contact details

E: richard.stafford@beds.ac.uk

About me

I am a Principal Lecturer in Environmental Sciences within the Division of Science at the University of Bedfordshire. I gained a BSc(Hons) in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth in 1999 and a PhD in Marine Ecology conducted from the University of Sunderland and the University of Hong Kong in 2002.

I have conducted research in a wide range of environmental and ecological topics and have worked as a post-doc at Newcastle University, as a government scientist for Cefas (providing advice on fish stocks) and as a senior lecturer and course leader for Biosciences at the University of Gloucestershire.

Research interests

My research is mainly at the interface of ecology and computer science, but with other work in ecological economics, computational statistics, computational neuroscience and robotics. Recently I have been involved in using social networking sites to collect biodiversity data through members of the public taking photographs and submitting them to photosharing websites. I am currently working on methods of automatic species identification from photographs, and of statistical methods of analysing these data to detect changes in species distributions or phenology as a result of climate change.

I currently supervise five research students working on aspects as diverse as intertidal ecology, British mammal ecology, use of volunteer data in ecological and biodiversity research and the often overlooked positive effects of invasive species on native biota.

Selected publications

Stafford R., Davies M.S. and Williams G.A. 2011. Robustness of Self-organised Systems to Changes in Behaviour: an Example from Real and Simulated Self-Organised Snail Aggregations. PLoS ONE 6: e22743

Ng T.P.T., Davies M.S., Stafford R. and Williams G.A. 2011. Mate searching strategies in littorinid snails: how do males locate females on mangrove trees? Animal Behaviour 82, 459-465.

Rees S.G., Goodenough A.G., Hart A.G. and Stafford R. 2011. Testing the effectiveness of capture mark recapture population estimation techniques using a computer simulation with known population size. Ecological Modelling 222, 3291– 3294.

Stafford R., Williams R.L. and Kirkhope C.L. 2011. Complex systems – what ecology teaches us about the credit crisis and long-term economic recovery. Progress in Economics Research 20, 307-317.

Stafford R., Hart A.G., Collins L., Kirkhope C.L., Williams R.L., Rees S.G., Lloyd J.R. and Goodenough A.E. 2010. Eu-Social Science: the Role of Internet Social Networks in the Collection of Bee Biodiversity Data. PLoS ONE 5, e14381

Goodenough A.E., Hart A.G. and Stafford R. 2010. Is adjustment of breeding phenology keeping pace with the need for change? Linking observed response in woodland birds to changes in temperature and selection pressure. Climatic Change Letters 102, 687-697.

Hart A.G., Stafford R., Smith A.L. and Goodenough A.E. 2010. Evidence for contemporary evolution during Darwin’s lifetime. Current Biology 20(3), R95.


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