Professor Claire Ozanne

Deputy Provost, Professor of Ecology


Research interests

My research focuses on the ecology of insects and other arthropods (springtails etc) in habitats influenced by human activities, particularly temperate and tropical forest canopies. These animal groups play a critical role in driving processes that provide us with ecosystem services such as predictable local climates, rainfall and nutrients. Temperate and tropical forests, as well as other biodiverse habitats, are frequently in regions under considerable pressure from human populations and therefore present key arenas for testing aspects of ecological theory and conservation practice. I am particularly interested in examining hypotheses about animal community assembly rules and in understanding how community assembly varies under different internal and external pressures.

My work has included the first detailed investigations of the canopy arthropod communities of conifers in the UK, finding that contrary to perception, very high densities of arthropods were present even in closely-packed plantations, making a significant contribution to forest dynamics. I then went on to investigate comparative community structures across coniferous and broadleaved trees demonstrating that these differed significantly, with detritivores and microbivores dominating the conifer communities. My work currently focuses on spatial aspects of arthropod communities in tree canopies and other habitats, including edge effects. Here we have shown that the impact of human generated edges in forest ecosystems penetrates in excess of hundreds of metres for some sites. In collaboration with Peter Shaw I am developing work on the contribution to UK forest biodiversity of canopy arthropods occurring in epiphytic growth and suspended leaf litter. I have been fortunate to have developed strong collaborations with co-workers on forest canopies and was lead author on a seminal paper published in Science which cites the forest canopy as a key location in which to investigate many aspects of biological theory and to develop a better understanding of the effects of global climate change.

International projects
  • Ethnoecology and forest resource use, Guyana
  • Powerline corridor impact on rainforest beetle communities, Australia
  • Impact of fire generated edges on forest canopy beetle fauna, Australia
  • Ecology and social anthropology of Human wildlife conflict in Nigeria
  • Insect Biodiversity in Nigerian Afromontane forest
  • Biodiversity assessment of Church forests in Ethiopia
External funding
  • NERC/ESRC PhD Studentship (Joint with Dr C Ross & Dr G Marvin)
  • Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust PhD Studentship
  • Royal Society Travel Grants, Royal Society Conference Grants
  • Botanical Research Fund, North of England Zoological Society
  • Global Canopy Programme
Symposia organised
  • 5th International canopy Conference, Bangalore, India 2009
  • BES Thematic Session – Forest canopies 2008
  • International Congress of Entomology, Brisbane, Australia August 2004
  • 3rd International Canopy Conference, Australia 2002
Peer review work
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, (NSERC), Canada
  • The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
  • Biological Conservation; Ecography; Ecological Entomology; Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata; Biotropica; Landscape Ecology; Journal of Insect Conservation
Consultancy and Media
  • BBC Radio 4 Saving Species
  • BBC Series - Museum of Life
  • Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • Dumfries and Galloway Development Survey
  • Biopesticide evaluation

Collaborative links

  • Global Canopy Programme: Steering Committee
  • TREE Foundation/CanopyMeg
  • Research collaboration with Tropical Ecology and Entomology Research Group, Oxford University

PhD students


Daniel Weaver
Diversity of Diptera and Collembola in disturbed and undisturbed forest, Gashaka Gumpti National Park Nigeria
Co-supervised with Dr Peter Shaw



David Bennett (awarded 2009)
Human wildlife conflict: Perception of crop damage and crop protection.
Co-supervised with Dr Garry Marvin and Dr Caroline Ross

Erica McAlister (awarded 2002)
Arthropod Colonisation of a created urban wetland, Barnes Wetland Centre
Co-supervised with Dr Peter Shaw

Christie Allan (awarded 2002)
Amerindian ethnoecology, Resource use and forest management in southwest Guyana.
Co-supervised with Dr Caroline Ross, Dr Garry Marvin & Dr Peter Shaw

Imogen Palmer (awarded 1999)
Edge effects on canopy arthropods in UK plantations
Co-supervised with Dr Martin Speight, Oxford University


BA, MA (Oxon), DPhil

Membership of professional bodies

Teaching interests



Selected publications
Basset, Y., et al.(2007) IBISCA-Panama, a large-scale study of arthropod beta-diversity and vertical stratification in a lowland rainforest: Rationale, study sites and field methodology. Entomological Bulletin of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, 77, 39-70

Shaw, P.J.A., Ozanne, C.M.P., Speight, M. R. & Palmer, I. (2007). Edge effects and arboreal Collembola in coniferous plantations. Pedobiologia, 51, 287-293

Ozanne, C.M.P., Anhuf, D., Boulter, S.L., Keller, M., Kitching, R.L., Körner, C., Meinzer, F.C., Mitchell, A.W., Nakashizuka, T., Silva Dias, P.L., Stork, N.E., Wright, S.J., Yoshimura, M. (2003) Biodiversity meets the atmosphere: A global view of forest canopies. Science 07/11/2003, 301 183
Full text

Foggo, A., C.M.P. Ozanne, M.R. Speight and C. Hambler (2001) 'Edge effects, tropical forests and invertebrates', Plant Ecology, 153, 347-359

Ozanne, C.M.P., M.R. Speight, C. Hambler and H.F. Evans (2000) 'Isolated trees and forest patches: patterns in canopy arthropod abundance and diversity in pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine)', Forest Ecology and Management 137(1-3), 53-63

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Department news

Restored artwork watches over new residence Chadwick Hall

On Thursday 13th October the University of Roehampton celebrated the opening of new halls of residence, Chadwick Hall and the unveiling of ‘The Watchers’, a well-known sculpture by Lynn Chadwick CBE. To mark the occasion Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey CBE welcomed a host of guests including Lynn Chadwick’s family, Justine Greening MP and the Mayor of Wandsworth, Richard Field to the University.

Major research project will benefit language pupils and teachers

Dr Sabela Melchor-Couto from the Department of Media, Culture and Language, and a European team, have been awarded €450,000 by the European Commission (EC) to support and expand the use of technology in language teaching across Europe.

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