Ben is an ecologist focused on identifying spatial patterns and processes in biodiversity across many spatial scales. His research covers a diverse array of study systems including coral reef fishes, terrestrial vertebrates and plants. He has developed analytical techniques to combine different sources of biodiversity of data, such as species distributions, citizen science field data, phylogenies and traits data, in order to provide new robust and objective depictions of biodiversity within study regions and across the globe. His research tests these patterns against established theories concerning the generation and maintenance of biodiversity, often through the use of computer intensive null-model analysis. Ben is particularly keen on working with the public in order to improve our understanding of the natural environment.
Here at the Marine Biological Association, Ben is the South West Project Officer for the Capturing Our Coast citizen science program, working with Nova Mieszkowska and Leoni Adams. He is working with members of the public in order to collect data on rocky shore species assemblages and investigate the causes of variation across these highly diverse ecosystems.