UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Jessica Williams

Dr Jessica Williams

Research Fellow

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
11th Sep 2017

Research summary

Jessica is a conservation biologist working on the Sustainable & Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) project. Currently, she is investigating the impacts of land-use and climate change on biodiversity within South African agricultural areas, and the resilience of nature's benefits to people under such changes. 

Her research interests lie in understanding how environmental changes (both global and local) are impacting biodiversity around the world, with the aim of identifying those species and locations most at risk from future changes.

Teaching summary

2019 - Present: STEM Ambassador

As an Ambassador Jessica has been invited to give talks on land-use and cliamte change at secondary schools around London, has participated in career Q&A sessions for years 10-12, and has taken part in virtual events during British Science Week.

Through this, Jessica is also a mentor for Brightside, which supports students in Year 10-13 across the UK

2017 - Present: Teaching Assistant, UCL

Jessica has completed the UCL Arena One teacher training course and taught on courses such as Quantitative Biology (undergraduate course) and Computational Methods in Biodiversity Research (postgraduate course).

2021: Supervisor for a summer undergraduate student placement 

2017, 2018: Invited speaker for Imperial College London's MSc Conservation Science course 


Jessica is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. 

She submitted her PhD thesis in mid-2021, titled 'Understanding how local climatic changes modify the response of biodiversity to land-use changes', which she completed at UCL. Before that Jessica received an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College London (2016) and a BSc (Hons) in Biology and Animal Behaviour from the University of Exeter (2014). 

Beyond her research, Jessica is a postdoc rep on the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Team within the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, and also a member of UCL's Green Champion Network.