Dr Sarah Taylor

Title: Lecturer in Ecology
Phone: +44 (0)1782 733025
Email: s.l.taylor@keele.ac.uk
Location: Huxley Building : 029
Role: Honorary Research Associate, University of New Brunswick
Year 2 Tutor - Biology
Education Officer, GeoConservation Staffordshire

Contacting me: Try my office or arrange an appointment by e-mail.
sarah taylor

I was appointed as a Lecturer in Ecology at Keele University in 2008, almost 10 years to the day after graduating with a dual degree in Biology and Geology. I have studied at a number of academic institutions (Keele University, 1998; Aberdeen University, Scotland, 1999; Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2002; University of New Brunswick, Canada, 2007), and am currently working towards my Master in Teaching and Learning at Keele. My PhD, “nature’s graveyard”, examined forest stand dynamics after a spruce budworm outbreak and was funded by a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship.

electric chair My research focuses on plant ecology, with specialisation in tree-insect interactions, dead wood ecology, disturbance dynamics, forest mensuration, and the application of GIS and remote sensing. My PhD student, Austin Haffenden, successfully defended his thesis on “Model forest system: even-aged Douglas fir plantation with invasive Rhododendron” in 2014, and is now a postdoctoral researcher at IRSTEA in France.

I am a contributor to the Global Edition of Campbell Biology, including a case study on sustainable development of a former colliery site at Silverdale for the upcoming 11th edition. In 2013 I published a book on “biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases” with Prof Andy Dobson and Dr Kezia Barker, which came out of our very successful five-part ESRC funded seminar series on the “Sociopolitics of biosecurity: science, policy and practice”.

I believe in taking an applied and field-based approach to teaching that utilises real-life scenarios so that students gain key employability skills. In 2011, The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management highlighted a “skills gap” in graduating students, partly due to a decline in fieldwork. The plight of fieldwork was highlighted by an article by Prof John Warren, P. Ashton, Peter Thomas and I in an article for the 26 Feb 2015 issue of the Times Higher Education Supplement entitled “Save field biology skills from extinction risks (endangered species)”. I have recently published a study on the use of “Mobile learning devices as collaborative tools to enhance biological identification skills in the lab and field” in the Journal of Academic Development in Education. The iPad study was funded by a Keele Learning and Professional Development Centre teaching grant and stemmed from engagement with the HEA Enhancing Fieldwork Learning showcase events, and was presented at the First iPads in HE conference in Cyprus in 2014.


I have always been interested in conservation and am an active member of GeoConservation Staffordshire, running many successful conservation work parties around the county. These activities have been championed in two publications: “a reserve visit to Brown End Quarry” with Patrick Cossey and Ian Stimpson in the Spring 2015 issue of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust; and “The enemy of your enemy is your friend” with Ian Stimpson for the September 2014 issue of the GeoConservation UK Newsletter [p11 (3), Vol 5]. I am also the Keele University representative for Friends of Silverdale Country Park, and encourage liaison between Keele students and local conservation organisations as part of their academic studies (research projects) and extra-curricular volunteering. Such a “joined up” approach facilitates students’ access to work experience and generation of vital data needed for an evidence-based approach to conservation that can be lacking in a sector with limited financial resources.

Selected Publications

  • Taylor SL. 2018. Reflections: what are the mutualistic benefits of university – nature reserve collaborations?. Journal of Academic Development and Education. full text>
  • Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). 2013. Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>
  • Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). 2013. Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>
  • Taylor SL, Dobson A, Barker K. 2013. Conclusions: biosecurity and the future - the impact of climate change. In Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>
  • Barker K, Taylor SL, Dobson A. 2013. Introduction: interrogating bio-insecurities. In Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). 2013. Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>
  • Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). 2013. Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>

Journal Articles

  • Taylor SL. 2018. Reflections: what are the mutualistic benefits of university – nature reserve collaborations?. Journal of Academic Development and Education. full text>
  • Taylor SL, Hill RA, Edwards C. 2013. Characterising invasive non-native Rhododendron ponticum spectra signatures with spectroradiometry in the laboratory and field: Potential for remote mapping. ISPRS JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND REMOTE SENSING, vol. 81, 70-81. link> doi>
  • Taylor SL, Hill R, Edwards C. 2013. Characterising invasive non-native Rhododendron ponticum spectra signatures with spectroradiometry in the laboratory and field: Potential for remote mapping. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. doi>
  • Krause, S, Taylor SL, Weatherill, J, Haffenden, A, Cassidy, NJ, Thomas, PA. 2012. Fibre-optic distributed temperature sensing for characterizing the impacts of vegetation coverage on thermal patterns in woodlands. Echoydrology. doi>
  • SHARIK T, ADAIR W, BAKER F, BATTAGLIA M, COMFORT E, D'AMATO A, DELONG C, DEROSE R, DUCEY M, HARMON M, LEVY L, LOGAN J, O'BRIEN J, PALIK B, ROBERTS S, ROGERS P, SHINNEMAN D, SPIES T, TAYLOR S, WOODALL C, YOUNGBLOOD A. 2010. Emerging themes in the ecology and management of North American forests. International Journal of Forestry Research. doi>
  • Taylor SL and MacLean DA. 2009. Legacy of Insect Defoliators: Increased Wind-Related Mortality Two Decades After a Spruce Budworm Outbreak. FOREST SCIENCE, vol. 55(3), 256-267. link>
  • Taylor SL and MacLean DA. 2008. Validation of spruce budworm outbreak history developed from aerial sketch mapping of defoliation in New Brunswick. NORTHERN JOURNAL OF APPLIED FORESTRY, vol. 25(3), 139-145. link>
  • Taylor SL and MacLean DA. 2007. Spatiotemporal patterns of mortality in declining balsam fir and spruce stands. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, vol. 253(1-3), 188-201. link> doi>
  • Taylor SL and MacLean DA. 2007. Dead wood dynamics in declining balsam fir and spruce stands in New Brunswick, Canada. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH-REVUE CANADIENNE DE RECHERCHE FORESTIERE, vol. 37(4), 750-762. link> doi>
  • Taylor SL and MacLean DA. 2005. Rate and causes of decline of mature and overmature balsam fir and spruce stands in New Brunswick, Canada. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FOREST RESEARCH-REVUE CANADIENNE DE RECHERCHE FORESTIERE, vol. 35(10), 2479-2490. link> doi>
  • Taylor SL. 2001. Factors affecting the distribution of the brittle prickly pear in the Peace River Prairies Canada. The British Ecological Society Bulletin, vol. 32(2), 29.

Chapters

  • Taylor SL, Dobson A, Barker K. 2013. Conclusions: biosecurity and the future - the impact of climate change. In Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>
  • Barker K, Taylor SL, Dobson A. 2013. Introduction: interrogating bio-insecurities. In Biosecurity: the socio-politics of invasive species and infectious diseases. Dobson A, Barker K, Taylor SL (Eds.). (14 vols.). Oxon, OX14 4RN: Earthscan from Routledge. link>

Other

  • Edwards C and Taylor SL. 2008. A survey and strategic appraisal of rhododendron invasion and control in woodland areas in Argyll and Bute.
  • Edwards C and Taylor SL. 2008. Determining the risk of Pinewood deterioration based on tree size (DBH), structure and regeneration density data.

Year 1

LSC-10033     Ecology and Environment

Year 2

LSC-20055     Life at the Extremes (Module Manager) [LSC-20054 semester 2 version]

LSC-20062     Living Together

ESC-20038     Integrated Environmental Field Studies

ESC-20032     Environmental Analytical Methods (Supervisor)

Year 3

LSC 30046      Life Sciences Single Experimental Project (Supervisor)

LSC-30049     Life Sciences Double Experimental Project (Supervisor)

LSC-30050     Life Sciences Dissertation (Supervisor)

LSC-30017     Trees in their Environment

LSC-30043     Conservation Biology (Module Manager)

ESC-30019     Applied Environmental Science Independent Research Project (Supervisor)

ESC-30031     Environmental Sustainability Dissertation (Supervisor)

Year 4 (MSc)

LSC-40026     Trees, Forests and Global Change