DAVID L. ROBERTS

Permanent AddressDurrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, School of Anthropology & Conservation, University of Kent, Marlowe Building, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR, UK; Email: d.l.roberts@kent.ac.uk; Tel.: +44 (0)1227 827851; Fax: +44 (0)1227 827289
Positions Held
2010-onwardsLecturer in Biodiversity Conservation, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent
2010-presentHonorary Research Associate, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
2009-presentHonorary Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex
2007-2008Sarah & Daniel Hrdy Fellowship in Conservation Biology - Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, USA (sabbatical 2007-2008)
2001-2009Senior Scientific Officer, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK; Head of Orchid Research (Orchidaceae) 2007-2009
Education
2010-2011Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education
Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, University of Kent, UK
1997-2001Ph.D. ‘Reproductive Biology and Conservation of the Orchids of Mauritius’
Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
1996-1997M.Phil. ‘Analysis of Genetic Structure in Oak Woodlands of West Wales’
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales
1993-1996B.Sc. (Hons) Botany 2.1
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales
Research project - ‘Biosystematics of carnivorous plants’
Awards
2011Ellya Mustafa Prize - created by the students to recognise the efforts of staff members towards the DICE mission and the student experience (awarded for the first time in 2011, and attributed through direct vote from all DICE students)
1996Runner-up most innovative 1st class dissertation ‘Biosystematics of Carnivorous Plants;
Publications
Click here for a list of my publications
Professional Service (current)
  1. Editorial Board of Endangered Species Research
  2. Advisor - Malesian Orchid Journal
  3. Herbier de la Réunion - associate
  4. Association pour l’étude Taxonomique de la Flore d’Afrique Tropicale - member
Professional Service (previous)
  1. Editor of the Orchid Research Newsletter - (www.kew.org/herbarium/orchids/)
  2. Deputy Health and Safety Officer - Herbarium, RBG Kew
  3. Children in Schools - Education Committee - RBG Kew
  4. Cypripedium calceolus Recovery Committee - English Nature
  5. Orchid Conservation International - Founder development committee member, trustee and member of the scientific and grants committee
  6. International Orchid Commission - Secretary
  7. Initial Biodiversity Assessment & Planning (IBAP) Guidance Development Team - member
  8. IUCN/SSC Madagascar Plant Specialist Group - member
  9. IUCN/SSC Orchid Specialist Group - member and List Authority Focal Point
  10. IUCN/SSC Afro-Madagascan Orchid Specialist Group - member
  11. Society for Conservation Biology - member
  12. Botanical Society of America - member
Invited Examiner
RNDr Theses
Jana Jerá ková Patterns of pollinator-generated fruit set in Orchis morio (Orchidaceae)
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, 2003
PhD Theses
Laura Wood Diversity and distribution of amphibians Luxembourg
University of Kent, UK, 2010
Ryan Phillips Landscape, pollinator and mycorrhizal specificity and their contribution to rarity in Drakaea (Hammer Orchids)
University of Western Australia, Australia, 2010
Tracy Rout Managing an monitoring species with uncertain presence
University of Melbourne Australia, Australia, 2010
Anton Russell Molecular phylogeny, genome evolution and biogeography of Polystachya (Orchidaceae)
Universitat Wien, Austria, 2010
Nigel Swarts Intergrated conservation of the rare and endangered terrestrial orchid Caladenia huegelii H. H. Reichb.
University of Western Australia, Australia, 2007
Santi Watthana Systematics & ecology of the genus Promatocalpa Breda (Orchidaceae)
University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2005
Tien Huynh Mycorrhizal fungi in Caladenia species (Orchidaceae)
University of Melbourne, Australia, 2004
Jana Jerá ková Reproductive success in terrestrial orchids
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, 2003
Msc Theses
Nina Cornish Genetic Diversity and conservation of Wall Lizards (Podarcis muralis) in Jersey, British Channel Islands
University of Kent, 2011
Emma Clayton Does spur length increase threat and rarity in Malagasy angraecoid orchids
University of East Anglia, 2006
Jennifer Ah-King The effect of climatic change on flowering in British orchids
University of East Anglia, 2004
Neil Lancaster Habitat, site and host specificity of the orchids of La Réunion
Reading University, 2004
Karen Robbirt The dichotomy of the Red List criteria
Reading University, 2004
Journal & Grants Reviewed
Science, Current Biology, BioScience, Journal of Applied Ecology, Trends in Plant Science, American Journal of Botany, Ecological Applications, Australian Systematic Botany, Biodiversity and Conservation, Endangered Species Research, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Conservation Genetics, Acta Oecologica, Annales Botanici Fennici, Kew Bulletin, Selbyana, Edinburgh Journal of Botany, American Orchid Society, Springer Books National Geographic, Dorothy Hodgkins Fellowship, Orchid Conservation International
Postdocs
2006 ‘Inferring habitat health from biological collections’ U. of Melbourne, Australia, Zoë Smith
2004 ‘Mycorrhizal fungi in Cypripedium calceolus’ U. of Melbourne, Australia, Tien Huynh
Graduate Committee Member (PhD)
2007-2012 ‘Cooperation, convergence and resource partitioning in African ant-acacias’ Harvard University, USA (Ph.D.) Dino Martins
Graduates (PhD)
2012-2016 ‘Characterising the formation and structure of international wildlife trade networks in the age of online communication’ University of Kent, UK (PhD) Amy Hinsley
2007-2009 ‘Population dynamics and conservation of the endangered Japanese orchid Nervilia nipponica’ University of Sussex, UK (PhD) Stephan Gale
2006-2009 ‘Maintaining deception in a rewarding landscape’ University of East Anglia, UK (PhD) David White
2005-2011 ‘Will climate warming present British orchids with a pollination crisis?’ University of East Anglia, UK (part-time PhD) Karen Robbirt
2003-2007 ‘Molecular phylogeny and conservation of the horticulturally important genus Vanda’ University of East Anglia, UK (PhD) Lauren Gardiner
Graduates (Masters)
2008-2009 ‘Fall velocity and dispersability of orchid seeds’ Imperial College, UK (M.Sc.) Nicholas Chastang
2005-2007 ‘Ontogeny of the staminode in the genus Phragmipedium’ Reading University, UK (M.Sc.) Clive Lundquist
2005-2006 ‘Linking extinction risk models to online databases’ University of Surrey, UK (M.Sc.) Zeting Feng
2004-2006 ‘Host-specificity and Batesian mimicry in the endangered epiphytic orchid, Eulophiella roempleriana’ University of Antananarivo, Madagascar (DEA) Johary Ramahenina
2004-2006 ‘Does spur length increase threat and rarity in Malagasy angraecoid orchids’ University of East Anglia, UK (M.Sc.) Emma Clayton
2004-2005 ‘A mathematical modelling system for ecologists’ University of Surrey, UK (M.Sc.) Thomas Crowder
2003-2005 ‘Conservation biology of a critically endangered orchid, Angraecum longicalcar’ University of Antananarivo, Madagascar (DEA) Landy Rajaovelona
2003-2004 ‘Habitat, site and host specificity of the orchids of La Réunion’ Reading University, UK (M.Sc.) Neil Lancaster
2003-2004 ‘The dichotomy of the Red List criteria’ Reading University, UK (M.Sc.) Karen Robbirt
2003-2004 ‘Dating the divergence times of fossil lineages with optimal linear estimation using the Weibull distribution’ University of Montpellier, France (DEA) Anna Saltmarsh
2002-2003 ‘The effect of climatic change on flowering in British orchids’ University of East Anglia, UK (M.Sc.) Jennifer Ah-King
2002-2003 ‘Species delimitation in the genus Trudelia’ University of Reading, UK (M.Sc.) Lauren Gardiner
Undergraduates
2006-2007 ‘Biological correlates of description date in Paphiopedilum species of Vietnam’ Reading University, UK (B.Sc.) Harry Earle
2004-2005 ‘Investigation into the decline of the Early Spider Orchid on the Isle of Wight’ University of Kingston, UK (B.Sc.) Mandy Wall
2004-2005 ‘Multivariate analysis of factors effecting the decline and rarity of British orchids’ University of Kingston, UK (B.Sc.) Thomas Hogan
2004-2005 ‘Micromorphology of rewarding and non-rewarding orchids’ Reading University, UK (B.Sc.) Alexandra Bell
2002-2003 ‘Prioritising priorities: Quantitative inference of threat and extinction from sighting data’ University of East Anglia, UK (B.Sc.) Greg McInerny
External Funding
2011 Competitive School PhD studentship - ’Characterising the formation and structure of international wildlife trade networks in the age of online communication’ (NERC-ERSC)
2010 Technology Mentor Scheme, Kent Enterprise Hub - ’Developing web crawlers to investigate the illegal wildlife trade’
2010 Strategic Spending Grant, University of Kent - High-speed video camera equipment to study fall velocity of orchid seeds
2010 Faculty Small Grant, University of Kent - Preliminary study into climate induced phenological shifts in Afroalpine plants
2008 Royal Society Conference Grant - Society for Conservation Biology, Beijing
2008 Kew Sandwich Year Student - Internship
2008 NERC/Systematics Association (CoSyst grant) - ‘Orchid-TEMPEST (Temperature Perception and Signal Transduction)’
2007 Royal Society - International Outgoing Short Visit - ‘Structure & distribution of rarity in an ancient landscape’ with Prof. Kingsley Dixon, Western Australia
2007 Nuffield Undergraduate Research Bursaries - ‘Where is the final frontier? Spatial boundaries in species range under climate change’
2007 Swiss Orchid Foundation - ‘Will climate warming present orchids with a pollination crisis?’
2007 Sarah & Daniel Hrdy Fellowship in Conservation Biology - with Profs. Charles Marshall & James Hanken (Director), Museum of Comparative Zoology/Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, USA
2006 Swiss Orchid Foundation - ‘Inferring habitat health from biological collections’
2006 Kew Sandwich Year Student - Internship
2006 Departmental NERC PhD - CASE Studentship - ‘Maintaining deception in a rewarding landscape’
2006 Lennox Boyd Foundation - ‘Inferring habitat health from biological collections’
2004 Royal Society Education Grant - orchid pollination biology in Central & South America
2003 Swiss Orchid Foundation - 2 day Orchid Conservation Workshop, XVIIth AETFAT (Association pour l’étude Taxonomique de la Flore d’Afrique Tropicale) Congress, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2003 Departmental NERC PhD Studentship - ‘Molecular phylogeny and conservation of the horticulturally important genus Vanda’
2003 Royal Society Conference Grant - 1st International Conference on Neotropical Orchidology, San Jose, Costa Rica
2002 Bentham-Moxon Trust - ‘High altitude orchids of Réunion’
1999 Bentham-Moxon Trust - ‘Reproductive biology of the orchids of Réunion’
1996 Oakdale Trust - ‘Analysis of Genetic Structure in Oak Woodlands of West Wales’
1996 Seven Trent Water Authority - ‘Analysis of Genetic Structure in Oak Woodlands of West Wales’
1996 Shotton Paper - ‘Analysis of Genetic Structure in Oak Woodlands of West Wales’
Papers Presented At Professional Meetings
2011
23rd Annual Wildlife Crime Enforcer’s Conference, Harrogate, UK, 7th-9th October, 2011 - Internet crime: Intelligence monitoring and case studies
4th International Orchid Conservation Congress, Czech Republich, 29th May-4th June, 2011 - Orchid seed dispersal; Estimating taxonomic uncertainty (Scientific Committee & session moderator)
2010
22nd Annual Wildlife Crime Enforcer’s Conference, Cheltenham, UK, 1st-3rd October, 2010 - Internet crime: Intelligence monitoring and case studies
2009
Mycological Society of America, Snowbird, Utah, USA, 25-30th July, 2009 - special symposium on Conservation biology of fungi: Lessons learned from efforts to conserve plants (Invited)
Society for Conservation Biology, Beijing, China, 11-16th July, 2009 - Species detectability and extinction (session moderator)
3rd Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids, Loja, Ecuador, 4-8th February, 2009 - Orchid ecology (Invited - decline)
2008
Mini-Symposium on Macroecology, The Natural History Museum, London, UK, 4-5th February 2008 - Species occupancy in orchid communities (Invited)
19th World Orchid Conservation, Miami, Florida, USA, January 2008 - Orchid-pollinator-predator interactions (Session Chairman & Invited)
2007
2nd Scientific Conference on Andean Orchids, Loja, Ecuador, 15-17th November, 2007 - Why are most species rare?; Are we missing something?
Advances in Orchid Systemetics and Ecology, Linnean Society, London, 31st October-2nd November, 2007 - Life at the thin end of the wedge: patterns of species-range size distributions in orchid communities (Invited & Organising Committee)
50th Anniversary of the Cape Orchid Society, An Orchid Safari - a Window on Conservation of African Orchids, South Africa, 12-16th September, 2007 (Keynote Speaker - decline)
3rd International Orchid Conservation Congress, San Jose, Costa Rica, 19-24th March, 2007 (Invited & Scientific Committee)
2006
Taxonomic and phylogenetic studies of horticulturally important orchids - a celebration of Phillip Cribb’s contributions to orchidology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, March, 2006 - Extinction modelling (Invited & Organising Committee)
2005
Gilbert White and Recording: Past, Present and Future, University of Southampton, Southampton, September, 2005 - Novel uses of herbarium specimens (Invited)
Perspectives on Plant-Animal Interactions, Zoological Society of London, London, April, 2005 - Orchid-pollinator interactions and climate change (Invited)
Ophrys 2005, European Orchid Conference, Chios, Greece, April, 2005 - Symmetry of pollination systems
18th World Orchid Conservation, France, March, 2005 - Mid-Domain Effect and island colonisation (Invited)
2004
International Orchid Workshop, Population Dynamics, Haapsalu, Estonia, June, 2004 - Baker’s Law
2nd International Orchid Conservation Congress, Selby Botanic Garden, Sarasota, USA, 16-21st May, 2004 - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
New Perspectives on the Orchid Systematics and Ecology, Toulouse, France, November, 2004 - Orchid-pollinator interactions and climate change (Plenary Session Speaker)
Recent Avian Extinctions, British OrnithologistŐs Union/Linnean Society, London, November, 2004 - Extinction probability (Invited)
XVIIth AETFAT (Association pour l’étude Taxonomique de la Flore d’Afrique Tropicale) Congress, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September, 2003 - Mid-Domain Effect and island colonisation
2003
Extinction Risk, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, September, 2003 - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Biotic Interactions in the Tropics, British Ecological Society Special Symposium and Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, July, 2003 - Patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids
1st International Conference on Neotropical Orchidology, San Jose, Costa Rica, May, 2003 - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Monocots III, 3rd International Conference on the Comparative Biology of the Monocotyledons and 4th International Symposium on Grass Systematics and Evolution, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California, USA, March, 2003 - Mid-Domain Effect and island colonisation
EOC2003, European Orchid Conference, London, UK, March, 2003 - Orchid flora of Mauritius
2002
17th World Orchid Conference, Shah Alam, Malaysia, April, 2002 - Conservation status of Mauritian orchids
2001
1st International Orchid Conservation Congress, Perth, Australia, October, 2001 - Patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids (Session Chairman & Invited)
2000
Plant-Animal Interactions, University of Aarhus, Denmark. Autumn, 2000 - Patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids
Mascarene Island Flora and Fauna, Natural History Museum, London, 2000 - Orchid flora of Mauritius
Invited Seminars
2010
IUCN Extinction Criteria Workshop - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
2010
University of Sheffield - Biodiversity: Am I missing something?
Hardy Orchid Society - Conserving Schrodinger’s cat: the lives and deaths of orchid species
2009
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent - Biodiversity: Are we missing something? Species detectability and extinction
Microsoft Research Ltd, Cambridge - Biodiversity: Are we missing something? Species detectability and extinction
Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Hong Kong - Biodiversity: Are we missing something? Species detectability and extinction
Spatial Ecology Lab, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia - Biodiversity: Are we missing something? Species detectability and extinction
2008
Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia - Biodiversity: Are we missing something?
Victorian AgriBiosciences Centre, LaTrobe - Biodiversity: Are we missing something?
Kings Park Wildflower Festival - Orchid hunting on Madagascar & other Western Indian Ocean islands
West Australian Native Orchid Study & Conservation Group, Perth, Australia - The kitchen table scientist: getting the most out of orchid collections and orchids in the field
Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology/University of Melbourne, Australia - Are we missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritization
James Cook University, Australia - Are we missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritization
University of Florida, USA - Biodiversity, am I missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritization
Conservation and Sustainable Development, Missouri Botanic Garden, USA - Are we missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritization (invited by Dr Peter Raven)
Concord Land Conservation Trust (Environmental Lecture Series), USA - Biodiversity, am I missing something?
Redlands Orchid Festival, Miami, Florida, USA - Orchids of Madagascar
2007
New York Botanic Garden, USA - What can herbaria do for us? Novel uses of herbarium specimens for plant conservation
Dept. of Biology, Tufts University, USA - Are we missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritisation
Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, USA - Are we missing something? Conservation & biodiversity prioritisation
Somerset & Wiltshire Orchid Society - Orchids of Madagascar
2006
Zoological Society of London, Conservation Seminar Series - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Science Visiting Group, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - Extinction risk
Millennium Seed Bank, Improving seed set of pollination and the genetical representation of seed harvested - Artificial pollination in orchids.
Orchid Society of Great Britain - Orchids of Madagascar: rare or medium rare?
Irish Orchid Society, Ireland - Orchid-pollinator interactions and climate change, and threatened orchids of Madagascar
Friends of Kew - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
University of Connecticut, USA - Orchid-pollinator interactions and climate change
Silwood Park, Imperial College, London - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
2004
University of Mauritius, Mauritius - Novel uses of herbarium specimens and patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Jodrell Laboratory, RBG Kew - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
University of Montpellier - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Leeds & Harrogate Orchid Society - Orchid flora of West Africa
Thames Valley Orchid Society - Orchid flora of Mauritius
Writhlington School, Bath - Orchid systematics and biology
Surrey Natural History Society - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
2003
Leeds & Harrogate Orchid Society - Orchid systematics and biology
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
University of Reading - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Sunbury Natural History Society - Orchid flora of Mauritius
2002
Kew Student Guild - Orchid flora of Mauritius
Jodrell Laboratory, RBG Kew - Patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids
2001
Agriculture Victoria, Melbourne, Australia - Patterns of fruiting success in Mascarene Island orchids
2000
Mauritian Orchid Society, Mauritius - Orchid flora of Mauritius
Symposia And Courses Organised
2007
2 days - Advances in Orchid Systematics and Ecology, Linnean Society, London, October, 2007
2006
2 days - A Celebration of Phillip Cribb's Contributions to Orchidology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, March, 2006
2003
2 days - Orchid Conservation Workshop, XVIIth AETFAT (Association pour l’étude Taxonomique de la Flore d’Afrique Tropicale) Congress, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, September 2003
2000
4 days - Orchid Micropropagation Techniques Workshop, Mauritius, 2000
1 day - Orchid Conservation Workshop, Mauritius, 2000
Teaching Experience
Full Courses
2010-present University of Kent - Topics in Conservation Biology; Statistics for Biologists; The Green Planet (Convener)
2008 Harvard University - Conservation Biology - Student evaluation of the course 4.8 out of 5.0 compared with the faculty average of 3.9
Invited Lectures (as part of academic courses)
2011
University of Sussex (Postgraduate) - Biodiversity: Am I missing something? Species detectability and conservation biology
2009
University of Sussex (Postgraduate) - Biodiversity: Am I missing something? Species detectability and conservation biology
Imperial College, London (Postgraduate - Conservation Science) - Biodiversity: Am I missing something? Species detectability and conservation biology
Imperial College, London (Postgraduate - Conservation Science) - The role of herbaria in conservation science
2008
Imperial College, London (Postgraduate - Evolutionary Ecology & Conservation) - Biodiversity: Am I missing something? Species detectability and conservation biology
2007
RBG Kew, Tropical Plant Identification - Orchid systematics and biology
2006
Exeter University (Postgraduate) - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Reading University (Postgraduate) - Orchid systematics and biology
University of Edinburgh/RBG Edinburgh (Postgraduate) - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
RBG Kew, Tropical Plant Identification - Orchid systematics and biology
2005
Manchester Metropolitan University (Postgraduate) - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Exeter University (Postgraduate) - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Reading University (Postgraduate) - Orchid systematics and biology
University of Connecticut (Postgraduate) - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
Imperial College (Postgraduate) - Herbarium techniques
2004-2005
RBG Kew Horticulture Diploma Course - Orchid systematics and biology
2004
RBG Kew International Conservation course - Novel uses of herbarium specimens
1996-1997
University of Wales, Aberystwyth (undergraduate) - Advanced PCR techniques
Full Courses (teaching assistant in practicals)
1996-1997
Biotechnology Summer School (16-18)
Animal physiology (2nd year undergraduate)
Microbiology (2nd year undergraduate)
Mycology (2nd year undergraduate)
Services to the community
Television
  1. Interview regarding climate change paper - BBC 1 News, 2010
  2. Documentary on Madagascar - BBC, 2008-present
  3. Documentary on biodiversity assessment in Papua New Guinea - BBC, 2008-present
  4. Advised on films and dramas - inc. Pride & Prejudice, Silent Witness, and Waking the Dead
  5. Documentary on Darwin and orchids - BBC, 2007
  6. Orchid pollination - Russian TV Channel 5, 2007
  7. Year At Kew, series 1 and 2 - BBC 1, 2003 and 2005 (Orchid identification, the spirit collection and Madagascar)
  8. Orchid conservation in Mauritius - Mauritian National News, 2000
  9. Radio
    1. Women’s Hour, BBC Radio 4, 2004, 2009 (Orchids)
    2. Big Toe Show, BBC Radio 7, 5 appearances - 2003 and 2004 (kids radio - Carnivorous plants x 2, orchids, plants and extreme environments, expedition to Cameroon)
    Schools
    1. Writhlington School (high school), Bath - since 2003, lectures, research projects (resulting in finals of Royal Society’s Young Scientist of the Year awards) and expedition with 3 students and teacher to Laos in 2007