Ilya Maclean

Seapink on The Lizard Peninsula

Research Group

Dr Ilya Maclean - Lecturer

Impacts of climate change on the flora and fauna of The Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard Peninsula has been a haven for unusual plants and habitats for hundreds of years, and botanists have been interested in it since the famous Cambridge botanist, John Ray, recorded several rare species there in 1667. Its unique geology and unusually clement climate mean conditions to be found nowhere else in Britain can be found there.

For these reasons, it’s an exceptionally good study system for investigating the effects of long-term environmental changes, and it’s why Dr Ilya Maclean’s research team are examining the impacts of climate change on the rare plants found on the Peninsula.

They’re particularly interested in whether small pockets of suitable microclimate can serve as refugia, allowing plants to persist despite unsuitable regional climate. Such areas could serve as focal points for conservation effort. They are also investigating how management practises, such as livestock grazing, could be altered to help species cope with both warmer temperatures as well as changes in the timing and amount of rainfall.

Principal researchers

Grants and funding

This is a small-scale, unfunded project which provides opportunities for student engagement in practical field-work.

Project website

Ilya's personal blog features many striking images of The Lizard Peninsula's wildlife and fauna, and you can also follow him on Twitter.