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Prof Anne Goodenough

Professor in Applied Ecology

I am a Professor of Applied Ecology with broad teaching and research interests spanning from nesting ecology of birds to ecological impact assessment, mammal conservation and the role of citizen sciences in studying biology and ecology. Chevron icon


I teach across the undergraduate programmes in Biology and Animal Biology, with a specific focus on ecological surveying, conservation ecology and avian biology. I run the annual UK #StarlingSurvey to record murmurations and am also a highly active researcher. I publish regularly in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as writing popular science articles and disseminating research at conferences, involving undergraduate students in my research work wherever possible.


2013: Biosciences Lecturer of the Year (Royal Society of Biology); Runner up

2010: Research Excellence Award, University of Gloucestershire

2006: Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment Essay Prize


2013: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (previously Fellow 2007-2012)

2013: National Teaching Fellow

2013: Chartered Biologist

2012: University Teaching Fellow

Membership of professional bodies

Royal Society of Biology

British Trust for Ornithology

Teaching & Research


I focus on practical and conservation ecology, field biology, avian biology and biogeography. My teaching is highly applied and uses lectures, seminars, workshops, fieldwork, lab work and computer analysis to link theory to its practical application.


Anne’s research focuses on applied ecology: monitoring, managing and conserving species and habitats. She has a particular interest in enhancing ecological surveying through the use of technology. This covers topics as diverse as optimising acoustic monitoring of British bats, surveying African antelope using thermal imaging, using chemical stable isotope analysis to understand bird migration, and harnessing Twitter to understand ecological phenomena such as starling murmurations. She frequently collaborates with external organisations and regularly co-publishes with practitioners and students. She works on many different taxonomic groups, including microbes, plants, insects, arachnids, and mammals, and especially birds, which have always fascinated her.

Unlocking Bird Migration Mysteries with Chemical Analysis of Feathers: Every year, a small black-and-white songbird returns to the UK to breed after over-wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. This species, the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca), is declining but understanding of wintering ecology is lacking. This project involved taking a tiny clipping from a wing feather from UK-breeding birds as part of normal ringing activities. These feathers had been grown in Africa and the African carbon stable isotope chemical signature was “locked in” to these feathers. Analysis showed that birds over-wintering in wetter areas produced substantially more chicks on UK breeding grounds the following spring. This will hopefully help inform African-based conservation.


More publications from Prof Anne Goodenough can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Consultancy work:

JISC Open Educational Resources (2009/10): Development of a Virtual Learning Environment to teach ecological experimental design

Higher Education Academy (2011/12): Developing a supportive framework for field courses through video-based resources

Subject for media interview




Starling murmurations

Biological effects of climate change

Professional positions

Trustee of Gloucestershire Wildife Trust.

Associate Editor of Bird Study.

Editorial Board of Microbial Ecology.

External examining

University of Bedfordshire: BSc Animal Science Shuttleworth College: FdSc Animal Management