UCL Division of Biosciences


GEE Seminar - Dr Jane Catford, King's College London

30 June 2021, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm


Title: ‘Causes and Consequences of Plant Invasions’

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Amy Godfrey



Academic Host: Richard Pearson
Abstract: Human introduction of species beyond their historical biogeographic boundaries is one of the defining characteristics of the Anthropocene. Alien species invasion is both a cause and consequence of global environmental change, and alien species that become invasive are considered a top threat to global biodiversity. It has been argued that species biogeographic origin is unrelated to ecological impacts and the origin of a species should not influence ecosystem management. This rejection of ‘origin’ is overly simplistic. Origin effects can arise through biased sampling of the types of species transported by humans, the environmental and evolutionary context of species’ source environments, and the communities and environments to which they are introduced. In this seminar, I will illustrate how community ecology theory can be used to understand how alien plants are able to invade and dominate, why the ecological responses and effects of alien species might differ to natives, and why alien plants can potentially drive native plants to extinction.

About the Speaker

Dr Jane Catford

Reader in Ecology at King's College London

I joined the Department of Geography at King’s College London in 2018. I previously held an academic position at the University of Southampton. I am a plant community ecologist with interests in biological invasions, environmental change and biodiversity. I am particularly interested in the causes, consequences and processes of vegetation change, and I typically focus on species invasions to tackle such questions. 

More about Dr Jane Catford