Matthew Hill

Dr Matthew Hill

  • mjhill at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Lecturer in Ecology
  • Christchurch House C110, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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I completed my PhD at Loughborough University, which examined the macroinvertebrate diversity of pond habitats and quantified the relative influence of local environmental and spatial parameters influencing community structure across a range of pond types. My PhD also provided direct evidence of the conservation value of ponds, and practical management recommendations at local and landscape scales. After completing my PhD, I moved to the University of Worcester to undertake postdoctoral research focusing on the biodiversity and the organisation of macroinvertebrate metacommunities in intermittent rivers. In particular, this research focused on the total biodiversity (incorporating lotic, ponding and terrestrial taxa) of intermittent rivers to inform conservation and management strategies, and the community assembly processes driving metacommunity structure in intermittent rivers. I joined the University of Huddersfield as a Lecturer in Geography in 2018, and then Bournemouth University as a Lecturer in Ecology in 2023.


My main research interests focus on aquatic systems, ranging from disentangling the community assembly processes and environmental pressures influencing the spatial and temporal patterns in freshwater communities, to understanding the interactions between aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

I am also interested in how we can better manage and conserve our freshwater wildlife in human dominated landscapes, and how conservation policy and practice in urban and agricultural areas can be adapted to reflect the multifunctionality of habitats in these landscapes.

Ongoing research projects include (1) understanding the response of aquatic freshwater communities to urbanization at a global scale, and identifying international policy and legislative requirements for their successful conservation, (2) community engagement in urban biodiversity conservation, (3) spatial patterns of aquatic communities in the Andean wetlands and (4) effects of trophic rewilding on freshwater communities.

Journal Articles

  • Snåre, H., Hill, M.J. et al., 2024. The relationships between biotic uniqueness and abiotic uniqueness are context dependent across drainage basins worldwide. Landscape Ecology, 39 (4).
  • Hill, M.J., Wood, P.J., White, J.C., Thornhill, I., Fairchild, W., Williams, P., Nicolet, P. and Biggs, J., 2024. Environmental correlates of aquatic macroinvertebrate diversity in garden ponds: Implications for pond management. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 17 (2), 374-385.
  • Siqueira, T., Hill, M.J. et al., 2024. Understanding temporal variability across trophic levels and spatial scales in freshwater ecosystems. Ecology, 105 (2).
  • Mathers, K.L., Armitage, P.D., Hill, M., McKenzie, M., Pardo, I. and Wood, P.J., 2023. Seasonal variability of lotic macroinvertebrate communities at the habitat scale demonstrates the value of discriminating fine sediment fractions in ecological assessments. Ecology and Evolution, 13 (10).
  • Slimani, N., Guilbert, E., White, J.C., Hill, M.J., Wood, P.J., Boumaïza, M. and Thioulouse, J., 2022. Unravelling the environmental correlates influencing the seasonal biodiversity of aquatic Heteropteran assemblages in northern Africa. Limnologica, 97.
  • Gebreselassie, S.S., Lechner, A.M., Hill, M.J., Teo, F.Y. and Gibbins, C.N., 2022. A review of current knowledge and research priorities for conservation of lentic biodiversity in tropical wet and monsoonal urban landscapes. Freshwater Biology, 67 (10), 1671-1689.
  • Hill, M.J., Thornhill, I., Tiegs, S.D., Castro-Castellon, A., Salvador Hernández-Avilés, J., Daw, A., Salinas-Camarillo, V.H. and Hobbs, S., 2022. Organic-matter decomposition in urban stream and pond habitats. Ecological Indicators, 142.
  • Mathers, K.L., Doretto, A., Fenoglio, S., Hill, M.J. and Wood, P.J., 2022. Temporal effects of fine sediment deposition on benthic macroinvertebrate community structure, function and biodiversity likely reflects landscape setting. Science of the Total Environment, 829.
  • Thornhill, I. et al., 2022. Blue-space availability, environmental quality and amenity use across contrasting socioeconomic contexts. Applied Geography, 144.
  • Hill, M.J. et al., 2021. Pond ecology and conservation: research priorities and knowledge gaps. Ecosphere, 12 (12).
  • Hill, M.J., Wood, P.J., Fairchild, W., Williams, P., Nicolet, P. and Biggs, J., 2021. Garden pond diversity: Opportunities for urban freshwater conservation. Basic and Applied Ecology, 57, 28-40.
  • Hill, M.J., Wood, P.J. and Mathers, K.L., 2021. Taxonomic and functional macroinvertebrate diversity of high-altitude ponds in the Macun Cirque, Switzerland. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 31 (11), 3201-3214.
  • Teo, H.C., Hill, M.J., Lechner, A.M., Teo, F.Y. and Gibbins, C.N., 2021. Landscape-scale Remote Sensing and Classification of Lentic Habitats in a Tropical City. Wetlands, 41 (7).
  • Deacon, C., Fox, B.R.S., Morland, L., Samways, M.J., Weaver, S., Massey, R. and Hill, M.J., 2021. Patterns in macroinvertebrate taxonomic richness and community assembly among urban wetlands in Cape Town, South Africa: implications for wetland management. Urban Ecosystems, 24 (5), 1061-1072.
  • Harper, L.R., Lawson Handley, L., Sayer, C.D., Read, D.S., Benucci, M., Blackman, R.C., Hill, M.J. and Hänfling, B., 2021. Assessing the impact of the threatened crucian carp (Carassius carassius) on pond invertebrate diversity: A comparison of conventional and molecular tools. Molecular Ecology, 30 (13), 3252-3269.
  • Hill, M.J., White, J.C., Biggs, J., Briers, R.A., Gledhill, D., Ledger, M.E., Thornhill, I., Wood, P.J. and Hassall, C., 2021. Local contributions to beta diversity in urban pond networks: Implications for biodiversity conservation and management. Diversity and Distributions, 27 (5), 887-900.
  • White, J.C., Fornaroli, R., Hill, M.J., Hannah, D.M., House, A., Colley, I., Perkins, M. and Wood, P.J., 2021. Long-term river invertebrate community responses to groundwater and surface water management operations. Water Research, 189.
  • Mathers, K.L., White, J.C., Guareschi, S., Hill, M.J., Heino, J. and Chadd, R., 2020. Invasive crayfish alter the long-term functional biodiversity of lotic macroinvertebrate communities. Functional Ecology, 34 (11), 2350-2361.
  • Samways, M.J., Hill, M.J. et al., 2020. Solutions for humanity on how to conserve insects. Biological Conservation, 242.
  • Cardoso, P., Hill, M.J. et al., 2020. Scientists' warning to humanity on insect extinctions. Biological Conservation, 242.
  • White, J.C., Armitage, P.D., Bass, J.A.B., Chadd, R.P., Hill, M.J., Mathers, K.L., Little, S. and Wood, P.J., 2019. How freshwater biomonitoring tools vary sub-seasonally reflects temporary river flow regimes. River Research and Applications, 35 (8), 1325-1337.
  • Hill, M.J., Mathers, K.L., Little, S., Worrall, T., Gunn, J. and Wood, P.J., 2019. Ecological effects of a supra-seasonal drought on macroinvertebrate communities differ between near-perennial and ephemeral river reaches. Aquatic Sciences, 81 (4).
  • Seddon, E., Hill, M., Greenwood, M.T., Mainstone, C., Mathers, K., White, J.C. and Wood, P.J., 2019. The use of palaeoecological and contemporary macroinvertebrate community data to characterize riverine reference conditions. River Research and Applications, 35 (8), 1302-1313.
  • Hill, M.J., Heino, J., White, J.C., Ryves, D.B. and Wood, P.J., 2019. Environmental factors are primary determinants of different facets of pond macroinvertebrate alpha and beta diversity in a human-modified landscape. Biological Conservation, 237, 348-357.
  • White, J.C., Krajenbrink, H.J., Hill, M.J., Hannah, D.M., House, A. and Wood, P.J., 2019. Habitat-specific invertebrate responses to hydrological variability, anthropogenic flow alterations, and hydraulic conditions. Freshwater Biology, 64 (3), 555-576.
  • Mathers, K.L., Hill, M.J., Wood, C.D. and Wood, P.J., 2019. The role of fine sediment characteristics and body size on the vertical movement of a freshwater amphipod. Freshwater Biology, 64 (1), 152-163.
  • Hill, M.J. et al., 2018. New policy directions for global pond conservation. Conservation Letters, 11 (5).
  • Thornhill, I.A., Biggs, J., Hill, M.J., Briers, R., Gledhill, D., Wood, P.J., Gee, J.H.R., Ledger, M. and Hassall, C., 2018. The functional response and resilience in small waterbodies along land-use and environmental gradients. Global Change Biology, 24 (7), 3079-3092.
  • Hill, M.J. and Milner, V.S., 2018. Ponding in intermittent streams: A refuge for lotic taxa and a habitat for newly colonising taxa? Science of the Total Environment, 628-629, 1308-1316.
  • Hill, M.J., Biggs, J., Thornhill, I., Briers, R.A., Ledger, M., Gledhill, D.G., Wood, P.J. and Hassall, C., 2018. Community heterogeneity of aquatic macroinvertebrates in urban ponds at a multi-city scale. Landscape Ecology, 33 (3), 389-405.
  • Hill, M.J., Heino, J., Thornhill, I., Ryves, D.B. and Wood, P.J., 2017. Effects of dispersal mode on the environmental and spatial correlates of nestedness and species turnover in pond communities. Oikos, 126 (11), 1575-1585.
  • White, J.C., Hill, M.J., Bickerton, M.A. and Wood, P.J., 2017. Macroinvertebrate Taxonomic and Functional Trait Compositions within Lotic Habitats Affected By River Restoration Practices. Environmental Management, 60 (3), 513-525.
  • Mathers, K.L., Hill, M.J. and Wood, P.J., 2017. Benthic and hyporheic macroinvertebrate distribution within the heads and tails of riffles during baseflow conditions. Hydrobiologia, 794 (1), 17-30.
  • Hill, M.J., Death, R.G., Mathers, K.L., Ryves, D.B., White, J.C. and Wood, P.J., 2017. Macroinvertebrate community composition and diversity in ephemeral and perennial ponds on unregulated floodplain meadows in the UK. Hydrobiologia, 793 (1), 95-108.
  • Hill, M.J., Biggs, J., Thornhill, I., Briers, R.A., Gledhill, D.G., White, J.C., Wood, P.J. and Hassall, C., 2017. Urban ponds as an aquatic biodiversity resource in modified landscapes. Global Change Biology, 23 (3), 986-999.
  • Hill, M.J., Ryves, D.B., White, J.C. and Wood, P.J., 2016. Macroinvertebrate diversity in urban and rural ponds: Implications for freshwater biodiversity conservation. Biological Conservation, 201, 50-59.
  • Hill, M.J., Chadd, R.P., Morris, N., Swaine, J.D. and Wood, P.J., 2016. Aquatic macroinvertebrate biodiversity associated with artificial agricultural drainage ditches. Hydrobiologia, 776 (1), 249-260.
  • Hill, M.J., Sayer, C.D. and Wood, P.J., 2016. When is the best time to sample aquatic macroinvertebrates in ponds for biodiversity assessment? Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 188 (3), 1-11.
  • Hill, M.J., Mathers, K.L. and Wood, P.J., 2015. The aquatic macroinvertebrate biodiversity of urban ponds in a medium-sized European town (Loughborough, UK). Hydrobiologia, 760 (1), 225-238.
  • Moggridge, H.L., Hill, M.J. and Wood, P.J., 2014. Urban aquatic ecosystems: The good, the bad and the ugly. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 185 (1), 1-6.
  • Hill, M.J. and Wood, P.J., 2014. The macroinvertebrate biodiversity and conservation value of garden and field ponds along a rural-urban gradient. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 185 (1), 107-119.


  • Wood, P.J., Armitage, P.D., Hill, M.J., Mathers, K.L. and Millett, J., 2016. Faunal Response to Fine Sediment Deposition in Urban Rivers. River Science: Research and Management for the 21st Century. 219-238.
  • Hassall, C., Hill, M., Gledhill, D. and Biggs, J., 2016. The ecology and management of urban pondscapes. Urban Landscape Ecology: Science, Policy and Practice. 129-147.

PhD Students

  • Melanie Milin. Aquatic Macroinvertebrate diversity in an intermittent river network: implications for freshwater biodiversity conservation, (In progress)
  • Selam Gebreselassie. Multi-scale drivers of pond ecological communities and their contribution to human wellbeing, (In progress)

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Climate and Environmental Change


  • Resilient People need Resilient Ecosystems in Smart Cities (RESPiRES) (Economic and Social Research Council, 01 Feb 2019). Completed


  • PhD in Macroinvertebrate diversity of pond habitats (Loughborough University, 2015)
  • BSc in Geography (Loughborough University, 2011)

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