Melanie Baker

NERC ACCE PhD student

Research Interests

I am passionate about ecosystem restoration and protecting our native species, specifically when it is with the aim of rewilding an area to its natural condition.

During my PhD, I will be monitoring the ecological impacts of reintroduced beaver populations in Cheshire. In 2020 two beavers were released by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust into a 4.5 hectare enclosure just outside Hatchmere Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as part of a five-year trial. I will be quantifying the impacts of beavers on biodiversity, water chemistry and hydrology. If everything goes to plan, there will be further reintroductions within Cheshire. I aim to model the dispersal and population dynamics of these beaver groups to assess at the long-term sustainability of the Cheshire Beaver Project.


Education and Career

BSc (Hons), Zoology, University of Leeds (2016-2019)

MRes, Advanced Biological Sciences, Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution Group, University of Liverpool (2019-2020)

NERC ACCE DTP PhD Studentship, Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution Group, University of Liverpool, in collaboration with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust (2021-2025). Supervisor: Prof Paula Stockley.



Cartledge, E.L., Baker, M., White, I., Powell, A., Gregory, B., Varley, M., Hurst, J.L. and Stockley, P., 2021. Applying remotely sensed habitat descriptors to assist reintroduction programs: A case study in the hazel dormouse. Conservation Science and Practice, 3(12), p.e544.


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