Biodiversity Action Group

Our objective is to be a species and habitat-rich campus. We aim to help biodiversity thrive by enhancing the quality, extent and management of green spaces across our University.

The natural world is experiencing an ecological crisis that threatens biodiversity in all its forms. This crisis undermines the provision of essential “ecosystem services” on which the human population is entirely reliant. We need nature, and that need is now particularly acute in urban environments.

Our overarching goals are to:

  • ensure that there is space for nature and wildlife our campus,
  • allow our campus to be planned and managed in an ecologically sound way—fostering biodiversity and our own wellbeing; and
  • monitor and conserve existing ecological and biodiversity resources on campus.

The group acts as a central coordination point for the many smaller-scale biodiversity projects already active on our campus. A key part of our work  is creating a community and shared ownership of our green spaces.

The members of the Biodiversity Action Group are Guild student representatives, grounds management team, academic and teaching staff with wide expertise in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and representatives from Ness Gardens, the Leahurst Campus, Estates Management, Facilities, Residential and Commercial Services and the Senior Leadership Team, Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education.

The Biodiversity Action group is one of seven working groups within the Sustainability Board that are tasked with planning and delivering a sustainable future for our University, by working on a local scale to address both the ecological and climate crises.

Chair of the Biodiversity Action Group
Dr Raj Whitlock, Senior Lecturer in Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour

Dr Raj Whitlock is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool with broad interests in ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. His research and fieldwork investigate how biodiversity will respond to climate change, addressing the mechanisms that living organisms use to adapt and survive in new climates. Raj currently leads research at the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Lab, the UK's longest running climate manipulation experiment, where a real grassland has been exposed to simulated climate change treatments for more than 25 years. He graduated with a degree in Botany from the University of Bristol, before taking up a PhD in plant ecology at the University of Sheffield. Raj joined the University of Liverpool in 2011.

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