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Dr Chris Hatcher

Lecturer in Practical Ecology

I am a lecturer in Practical Ecology. I have a broad range of interests and experiences in studying ecological responses to environmental variability at different spatial and temporal scales.

Biography

As a lecturer in the School of Natural and Social Sciences, I teach across the Environmental Science, Geography, Biology and Animal Biology Undergraduate programs as well as MSc Applied Ecology. My research mainly focuses on understanding processes in peatland ecosystems. Specifically, understanding local processes such as biochemical activity, plant-plant interactions, plant-insect interactions and plant-soil interactions and how these are related to large-scale peat formation and community composition.

Qualifications

  • PhD: Bioscience, Loughborough University
  • MSc: Evolutionary & Behavioural Ecology, University of Exeter
  • BSc: Biological Sciences, University of Gloucestershire

Membership of professional bodies

British Ecological Society

Teaching & Research

Teaching

I teach across a range of modules, predominantly focusing around practical and conservation ecology, biogeography and data handling, visualisation and advanced statistics. My teaching is highly applied and uses lectures, seminars, workshops, fieldwork, lab work and computer analysis to link theory to its practical application.

Research

My research focuses on understanding how plants and communities respond to resource availability at a range of scales, from the molecular through to a continental level. I seek to understand how ecosystems respond to drivers of environmental change such as climate change and nutrient availability.

Given the breadth of focus, I use a variety of approaches. Metabolomics and stable isotopes are key for understanding molecular and physiological processes, whilst I also employ ground survey techniques and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to link these small-scale processes to large-scale patterns.

My primary study system is peatlands and carnivorous plants that inhabit these environments. I also conduct research in the agri-tech sector, primarily developing rapid assessment tools for monitoring plant health and species composition using UAVs.

Publications

More publications from Dr Chris Hatcher can be found in the Research Repository.