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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Chris Joyce is Professor of Ecology in the School of Environment and Technology. He is Director of the Centre for Aquatic Environments. Professor Joyce has over 25 years of ecological research experience focusing on wetland ecology, management and restoration. He has conducted his research throughout Europe, especially in the UK, Czech Republic and Estonia, and the USA.

Professor Joyce has attracted funds worth over £1 million for his research, including grants from the Darwin Initiative, Earthwatch Institute, European Union, Natural England, Environment Agency and Research Councils. He has successfully supervised eight Doctorate (PhD) research degrees and is currently supervising a further eight PhD candidates.

Professor Joyce has authored well over 40 peer-reviewed publications and more than 30 conference papers. He has co-authored two books and edited three special issues of journals. He has presented his work to academics, practitioners, politicians and the general public and been invited to give keynote lectures throughout Europe and in the USA.

Professor Joyce has also conducted over 20 major ecological consultancy projects, specialising in botanical and wildlife surveys, preparing management plans, biodiversity audits, and ecological impact assessment. He has advised Government bodies, universities, non-governmental organisations and industry on ecology, biodiversity and environmental management. He is an Associate Editor of the international journal ‘ Hydrobiologia’, on the Editorial Board for the journal ‘ Wetland Science and Practice’, and serves on the Publications Committee for the Society of Wetland Scientists.

Approach to teaching

I am passionate about fieldwork and try to integrate it into my teaching whenever appropriate. I am particularly keen on teaching field-based ecological skills, such as plant and wildlife identification, ecological surveys and sampling, habitat mapping, and interpreting the landscape. I have taught such skills in many habitats, including ponds, rivers, sea shores, salt marshes, floodplains, grasslands, woodlands and urban environments, and during residential field courses in the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Estonia, and Sicily. I also like to make use of the local area for teaching. For example, students and I visit Cuckmere Haven as part of my ‘Wetland Environments’ module in order to discuss wetland ecosystems and management.

I think it is important to recognise the critical role humans play in shaping ‘natural’ systems through their relationships with nature conservation. This is a key theme in my research but also in my teaching, which often involves students discussing contemporary conservation issues, for example in mock press conferences or conventions. It also underpins my teaching on biogeography and environmental management on undergraduate courses, and on ecological evaluation and mitigation at Masters level.

I am afraid that I am also keen on teaching data analysis and presentation, at least so that students are not scared of statistics! In particular, I inflict multivariate analysis on students in the hope that their final year projects will reap the rewards!

Research interests

Professor Joyce is the Director of the Centre for Aquatic Research and Professor of Ecology, specialising in wetlands. His research improves understanding and management of internationally important transitional wetlands, especially wet grasslands, coastal wetlands, and river floodplains, which depend upon human management to maintain their vital ecosystem services and biodiversity. He was the first person to quantify the sensitivity of wet grasslands to management changes such as altered water levels, intensive fertilisation or land abandonment. He has also developed surveying, assessment and monitoring techniques for wetlands that have been adopted by governments, practitioners and academics.

His two current main research themes are:

  1. assessing the effects of climate change, including extreme events such as floods and droughts, on wetlands in order to develop resilient wetland systems, and
  2. determining the impacts of invasive non-native aquatic plant species on native wetland biodiversity, and to develop sustainable methods for controlling and monitoring invasive aquatic plants.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students in the following areas: wetland ecology and climate change; invasive wetland plants; offtake of wildlife from wetlands; wetlands and environmental change.  

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Loughborough University

PhD, Loughborough University

External positions

Doctoral supervisor, Estonian University of Life Sciences

2017 → …

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Research Output

Fine scale plant community assessment in coastal meadows using UAV based multispectral data

Villoslada, M., Bergamo, T. F., Ward, R., Burnside, N., Joyce, C., Bunce, R. & Sepp, K., 14 Jan 2020, In : Ecological Indicators. 111, 105979.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Global offtake of wild animals from wetlands: critical issues for fish and birds

    Brotherton, S., Joyce, C. & Scharlemann, J., 10 Feb 2020, In : Hydrobiologia. 847, 7, p. 1631-1649 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Environmental drivers of sediment carbon storage in temperate seagrass meadows

    Lima, M., Ward, R. & Joyce, C., 21 Dec 2019, In : Hydrobiologia. p. 1-20 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Immediate and lag effects of hydrological change on floodplain grassland plants

    Brotherton, S. J., Joyce, C., Berg, M. & Awcock, G., 20 Feb 2019, In : Plant Ecology. 220, 3, p. 345-359 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Activities

    • 4 Oral presentation
    • 1 Editorial work
    • 1 Research degree

    Responses of floodplain grassland plants to extreme climate events: survival, growth and flowering

    Chris Joyce (Supervisor), Maureen Berg (Supervisor) & Graeme Awcock (Supervisor)

    12 Dec 2017

    Activity: External examination and supervisionResearch degree

    The impacts of watercress farming on fish community structure

    Asa White (Presenter), Angelo Pernetta (Presenter), Christopher Joyce (Presenter) & Neil Crooks (Presenter)

    24 Nov 2017

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

    Superfoods and salmonids: experimental impact of watercress-derived phenethyl isothiocyante on the early life stages of brown trout (Salmo trutta)

    Asa White (Presenter), Neil Crooks (Presenter), Angelo Pernetta (Presenter) & Christopher Joyce (Presenter)

    3 Jul 2017

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

    Does watercress farming impact chalk river fish populations?

    Asa White (Presenter), Neil Crooks (Presenter), Angelo Pernetta (Presenter) & Christopher Joyce (Presenter)

    25 Nov 2016

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

    Can watercress farming directly impact fish communities?

    Neil Crooks (Presenter), Christopher Joyce (Presenter) & Angelo Pernetta (Presenter)

    27 Nov 2015

    Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation