Anita is a conservation ecologist who enthusiastically supports wildlife conservation by integrating her research and professional practice activities with mentoring student partners co-creating new knowledge. Anita has a core research interest in conserving the wildlife of cultural habitats such as heathlands, meadows and woods. Their rich biodiversity is a result of centuries of traditional farming-based societies affecting key ecological feed-back processes including grazing and pollination. Anita is intrigued by how wildlife responds to newer human land uses, for example, nature-based tourism and carbon capture.
Her research projects include collaboration with the National Trust and other wildlife conservation organisations forging an innovative landscape-scale conservation vision for the internationally important Purbeck Heaths. Students have integral roles in the project, co-creating long term monitoring of ecological change. Similarly Anita’s collaborations with the University of Leon and Pyrenean Institute of Ecology in Spain provide student co-researchers with different perspectives on wildlife conservation of mountain meadow ecosystems in the face of climate and cultural change.
Anita is also keen to encourage wider societal engagement with nature to enhance both nature conservation and human well-being. Her HEIF-funded website is co-created with students enriching society by connecting people with nature volunteering opportunities.