About me:

James Borrell is a biodiversity scientist and science communicator with over a decade of conservation research and fieldwork experience. Past project have ranged from the tropics to high Arctic, with a particular focus on Ethiopia, Oman, Madagascar and the UK. My research predominantly focuses on characterising biodiversity patterns, but increasingly integrates human challenges around food security and agriculture.

James is also an accomplished public speaker and writer having presented to a wide range of corporate and public audiences on environmental topics, liberally interspersed with real life fieldwork stories and anecdotes. James runs this website with a focus on supporting early career conservationists. Feel free to get in touch.

Bending the curve of biodiversity loss:

What we do in the next fifty years will impact life on earth for at least the next five million years, probably long after humans have disappeared. So this generation of conservationists – especially those starting their careers now – are the most important to have ever lived. They will either either succeed, and slow, stop and reverse global biodiversity loss; or by the end of this century, at our current rate, the impact may be irreparable.

Since I started writing and speaking about conservation, over a decade ago, progress has been unimaginable.

For these reasons, I am undoubtedly a conservation optimist.

Conservation Research:

I‘m interested in what drives patterns of biodiversity, particularly genetic diversity — the unique combinations of DNA inside populations of plants or animals.

Gentic diversity is the basis of how species evolve and adapt. The challenges and stresses we impose on wild populations — for example, climate change, pollution etc — mean species are under very strong pressure to adapt. My research focuses on how we can understand these processes, and if possible, help species or entire ecosystems to adapt.

Increasingly, my research is also applied to agricultural systems for which climate change and biodiversity loss pose similar challenges. Agricultural intensification is often cited as the predominant driver of biodiversity loss, but it’s also our most valuable tool to improve human wellbeing and make space for nature.

I have worked on a huge diversity of organisms, from dragonflies to birds, and amphibians to big mammals, but mostly on ubiqitous but often overlooked plants. Find out more, here.