Research

Research Interests:

I am a tropical crop ecologist with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, working on the orphan crop Enset in Southern Ethiopia – funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund.

In 2017 I completed a NERC funded PhD student working with Dr. Richard Buggs and Professor Richard Nichols in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London. This focused on the rare Scottish montane species, Dwarf birch (Betula nana), which has a severely restricted and declining distribution in the Scottish Highlands. Among threats from changing land management, climate change and overgrazing, it is also undergoing severe introgression from increasingly abundant related species.

I also have a number of side projects. These include; Assessing the distribution of rare desert endemic plants in Oman’s central desert, in collaboration with the Oman Botanic Gardens. Similarly, I am interested in the impact of forest edges on the distribution herpetofauna (and their microhabitats) in Madagascar’s heavily fragmented Northern rainforests.

Mapping genetic diversity, ecological niche modelling, habitat fragmentation, population genetics, parentage analysis, gene flow, introgression and hybridisation.

Presentations:

MSc and PhD students:

Mapping genetic diversity, ecological niche modelling, habitat fragmentation, population genetics, parentage analysis, gene flow, introgression and hybridisation.

Recent publications:

Borrell J.S., Wang, N. Nichols, R.A., Buggs, R.J.A. (2018) Genetic diversity maintained among fragmented populations of a tree undergoing range contraction. Heredity (link)

Scherz M.D., Vences M., Borrell J.S. et al. (2017) A new frog species of the subgenus Asperomantis (Anura, Mantellidae, Gephyromantis) from the Bealanana District of northern Madagascar. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 93 p451. (link)

Zohren, J., Wang, N., Kardailsky, I., Borrell, J.S., Joecker, A., Nichols, R.A. & Buggs, R.J.A. (2016) Unidirectional diploid‐tetraploid introgression among British birch trees with shifting ranges shown by RAD markers. Molecular Ecology 25: 2413‐2426. (link)

Borrell J.S. (2016) 17th Student Conference on Conservation Science. Oryx. 50(3). (link)

Ball L.D. & Borrell J.S. (2016) An Inventory of Herpetofauna in Wadi Sayq. Checklist. 8:12. (link).

Ball L.D., Alfazari W. & Borrell J.S. (2015) Birds of Wadi Sayq, Dhofar, Oman. Sandgrouse (link).

Borrell, J.S. (2014) Lessons from a year of citizen science. Human Computation,1:2:111-118 (link).

Wang N., Borrell J.S. and Richard J. A. Buggs. (2014) Is the Atkinson discriminant function a reliable method for distinguishing between Betula pendula and B. pubescens? New Journal of Botany. (link)

Wang, N., Borrell, J. S., Bodles, W. J., Kuttapitiya, A., Nichols, R. A., & Buggs, R. J. (2014). Molecular footprints of the Holocene retreat of dwarf birch in Britain. Molecular ecology. (link)

Borrell, J. S. (2012). Rapid assessment protocol for pollen settling velocity: implications for habitat fragmentation. Bioscience Horizons: The National Undergraduate Research Journal, 5. (link)