UCL Division of Biosciences


External CBER Seminar - Dr Andrew Suggitt, Northumbria University

31 March 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


Title: 'The effects of climate warming and land conversion on species’ range changes'

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Amy Godfrey


Roberts Building

Abstract: Although increased temperatures are known to reinforce the effects of habitat destruction at local to landscape scales, evidence of their additive or interactive effects is lacking, particularly over larger spatial extents and longer timescales. To address these deficiencies, we created a new dataset of land-use changes over 75 years, documenting the loss of over half (>3,000 km2) the semi-natural grassland in Great Britain. Pairing this dataset with climate change data, we tested for relationships to distribution changes in birds, butterflies, macromoths, and plants (n = 1,192 species total). Individual or additive effects of climate warming and land conversion unambiguously increased persistence probability for 40% of species, and decreased it for 12%, and these effects were reflected in both contractions and expansions. Interactive effects were rare, being detected in less than 1 in 5 species. Such individualistic responses emphasise the importance of including species-level information in policies targeting biodiversity and climate adaptation.

About the Speaker

Dr Andrew Suggitt

Assistant Professor at Northumbria University

My research examines the effects of environmental change on the natural world. I am particularly interested in the extent to which an organism's local climate - its so-called microclimate - interacts with wider climatic conditions and shifts to define its niche, and ultimately, how this affects its prospects under contemporary climatic change.

More about Dr Andrew Suggitt