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Dr David Baker

Dr David Baker

Research Fellow

 Environment and Sustainability Institute 


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


Current role: I am Postdoctoral Research Fellow currently funded through the UKRI’s Landscape Decisions Programme and working in collaboration with Prof Kevin Gaston and Dr Ilya Maclean. My research focuses on improving the use of biodiversity data in landscape decisions processes through the effective use of modelling. During my current fellowship, I am leading the development of a species distribution model framework to infer the distribution of species in a landscape from opportunistically collected species occurrence records.  We will be working closely with applied ecologists from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and other stakeholders to tackle the challenges of integrating biodiversity data into landscape decisions processes.

Previous experience: Prior to joining the ESI, I was a Research Fellow at Monash University (Australia) working on the monitoring and conservation of common species across a range of different environments. This included assessing the power to detect declines in birds across continental Australia from citizen science data and assessing the drivers of dieback in a keystone plant in the sub-Antarctic. As a Research Associate at Durham University, I modelled the potential impacts of climate change for vertebrates across the West Africa protected area network and led several collaborations with the Met Office on using climate data in ecological analyses. I have also worked extensively on farmland bird ecology, including analysing the effects of the English Environmental Stewardship Scheme on the population trends of farmland birds.

Teaching: I have lectured at Durham and Monash University on topics including population, behavioural, and evolutionary ecology, statistics, and conservation and biodiversity. In 2015/16, I led the second year Ecology module at Durham University, co-taught final year Behavioural & Evolutionary Ecology, and taught first year Statistics for Biosciences. I have also taught on international field courses and led field and computer practicals.


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