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Dr Jane Catford is a plant community ecologist with an interest in community assembly, biological invasions, environmental change and biodiversity. She has worked in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems across the world, and uses theoretical, quantitative and empirical approaches in her work. She has established and maintains long-term field experiments in the US, UK and Australia, and collaborates widely.

She joined the Department of Geography in September 2018. Before moving to King’s, she was a Lecturer in Community Ecology at the University of Southampton. From 2012-2016, she held a research fellowship with the Australian Research Council and worked at The University of Melbourne, University of Minnesota and Australian National University. She has worked as a consultant on projects involving: the prediction and management of exotic plant invasion; river health and environmental flow assessments; river restoration and rehabilitation; water sensitive urban design and the design of constructed wetlands.

She is an Editor for the journals Conservation Letters, Journal of Ecology and Neobiota, and is a member of the British Ecological Society's Publications Committee.


BA/BSc (Honours), Monash University, Australia
PGCAP, University of Southampton, UK
PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia.


  • Causes and consequences of biological invasions
  • Using plant functional traits to understand responses to, and impacts of, global environmental change
  • Prediction and management of novel ecosystems
  • Community assembly, species coexistence and biodiversity
  • Ecosystem restoration and management
  • Ecosystem services (especially in rivers, wetlands, riparian zones and grasslands)
  • Ecological impacts of global environmental change, including climate change, river regulation and nitrogen deposition


For a full list of publications, please see Jane's research profile.


PhD supervision

Jane welcomes interested students to contact her about potential projects. 

Principal supervisor

  • Estíbaliz Palma (University of Melbourne), 'Functional traits of invasive plant species'
  • Abigail Mabey (University of Southampton), 'Traits associated with plant species invasiveness in terrestrial marine and freshwater ecosystems'
  • Angela Bartlett (KCL), 'The future of alien invasions: the impact of rates of introduction, and introduction bias, on the richness and composition of alien assemblages'

Second supervisor

  • Sarah Fischer (University of Melbourne), 'Drivers of tree regeneration in a floodplain forest'
  • Andrew O’Reilly-Nugent (University of Canberra), 'Use of coexistence theory to understand biological invasions and grassland restoration'
  • Harry Shepherd (University of Southampton), 'Use of plant-soil interaction to enhance ecosystem restoration'
  • Saras Windecker (University of Melbourne), 'The influence of plant traits on wetland carbon'
  • Stephanie Kaupa (KCL), 'Hydrological impacts of agricultural land abandonment in the Himalayas'

Further details

Please see Jane's Research Staff Profile for further details.