UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Ellie Dyer

Dr Ellie Dyer

Research Associate

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Feb 2018

Research summary

GAVIA - Global Avian Invasions Atlas Project:

The human-mediated introduction of animals into new areas is a key driver of species extinctions and global environmental change, and a major drain on economic resources. Preventing new invasions is the best way to minimize their impact, but this requires understanding the factors influencing whether or not species establish and spread in foreign environments.

To this end, Professor Tim Blackburn and I created a novel, spatially referenced, global data set on the distributions of alien birds. The GAVIA database currently comprises over 27,000 distribution records for over 900 alien bird species, based on over 700 published references and substantial unpublished information derived from consultation with over 600 organisations and experts worldwide. GAVIA was initiated to provide a unified database of records on alien bird introductions, incorporating records from all stages of invasion, including introductions that have failed as well as those that have succeeded. GAVIA represents the most comprehensive resource on the global distribution of alien species in any major taxon, allowing the spatial and temporal dynamics of alien bird distributions to be examined.

Further information on GAVIA is available here, and the GAVIA database and range maps for established alien bird species are available to download here.


My research interests concern topics in biodiversity and macroecology; specifically, the distribution of introduced and invasive species, but also large-scale patterns in the abundance and distribution of animals more generally. My recent work has been on the spatial ecology of invasions, particularly focusing on patterns of richness, range size and spread.