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I am a marine biologist and academic based at Bournemouth University. My research is currently focussed on understanding and protecting the marine environment in a holistic manner.
This involves understanding the role of multiple stresses which act on marine organisms, and the interactions between the organisms (which can form part of the stress). Currently, work involves overfishing, and how marine protected areas can be effective. Large scale ecosystem effects of overfishing - including the potential for overfished environments to contribute to climate change, and the adaptive potential of organisms to multiple stresses, including climate.
While most of my work is in marine ecology, I have worked in many different environments and on many different species, and in several disciplines, including economics, neuroscience and robotics.
I use a range of tools and techniques to conduct my work, but I am especially experienced in computer simulations and quantitative methods.
I am also interested in how people learn about complex topics... How we can best teach what are often thought of as difficult subjects, such as mathematics and statistics, and how we can effectively communicate science and conservation to the general public.more
My current research is focussed on 1) the development of simple, user friendly community-level models to predict changes in ecological communities, based on limited and diverse data types. 2) understanding localised adaption to ecological niches (from both physical and biological factors) and the implications of this for climate change and associated species movement 3) finding suitable and novel biomarkers for organism 'stress', which may predict their future vulnerability to climate change or other environmental pressures
- Stafford, R. and Jones, P.J.S., 2019. We should not separate out environmental issues, but the current approach to plastic pollution can be a distraction from meaningful action. A response to Avery-Gomm et al. Marine Policy, 107.
- Stafford, R. and Jones, P.J.S., 2019. Viewpoint – Ocean plastic pollution: A convenient but distracting truth? Marine Policy, 103, 187-191.
- Ng, T.P.T., Rolán-Alvarez, E., Dahlén, S.S., Davies, M.S., Estévez, D., Stafford, R. and Williams, G.A., 2019. The causal relationship between sexual selection and sexual size dimorphism in marine gastropods. Animal Behaviour, 148, 53-62.
- Pitt, J., Gillingham, P.K., Maltby, M., Stafford, R. and Stewart, J.R., 2019. Changing cultures, changing environments: A novel means of investigating the effects of introducing non-native species into past ecosystems. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23, 1066-1075.
- Stafford, R., 2019. Sustainability: A flawed concept for fisheries management? Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 7.
- García-Rodríguez, O. et al., 2018. Cyprus as an ancient hub for house mice and humans. Journal of Biogeography, 45 (12), 2619-2630.
- Carroll, T., Gillingham, P.K., Stafford, R., Bullock, J.M. and Diaz, A., 2018. Improving estimates of environmental change using multilevel regression models of Ellenberg indicator values. Ecology and Evolution, 8 (19), 9739-9750.
- Griffin, R.L., Green, I. and Stafford, R., 2018. Accumulation of marine microplastics along a trophic gradient as determined by an agent-based model. Ecological Informatics, 45, 81-84.
- Stafford, R., 2018. Lack of evidence that governance structures provide real ecological benefits in marine protected areas. Ocean and Coastal Management, 152, 57-61.
- Hines, H.N., Morriss, H., Saunders, K., Williams, R.L., Young, S.L. and Stafford, R., 2017. Localized versus regional adaptation in limpet shell morphology across the Iberian Peninsula. Marine Ecology, 38 (6).
- Ng, T.P.T., Lau, S.L.Y., Seuront, L., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R., Marshall, D.J. and Williams, G.A., 2017. Linking behaviour and climate change in intertidal ectotherms: insights from littorinid snails. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 492, 121-131.
- Spiers, E.K.A., Stafford, R., Ramirez, M., Vera Izurieta, D.F., Cornejo, M. and Chavarria, J., 2016. Potential role of predators on carbon dynamics of marine ecosystems as assessed by a Bayesian belief network. Ecological Informatics, 36, 77-83.
- Cartwright, S.J., Bowgen, K.M., Collop, C., Hyder, K., Nabe-Nielsen, J., Stafford, R., Stillman, R.A., Thorpe, R.B. and Sibly, R.M., 2016. Communicating complex ecological models to non-scientist end users. Ecological Modelling, 338, 51-59.
- Jenkins, E., Jamjoum, K., Nuimat, S., Stafford, R., Nortcliff, S. and Mithen, S., 2016. Identifying ancient water availability through phytolith analysis: An experimental approach. Journal of Archaeological Science, 73, 82-93.
- Ng, T.P.T., Williams, G.A., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R. and Rolán-Alvarez, E., 2016. Sampling scale can cause bias in positive assortative mating estimates: evidence from two intertidal snails. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
- Stafford, R., Clitherow, T.J., Howlett, S.J., Spiers, E.K.A., Williams, R.L., Yaselga, B., Zeas Valarezo, S., Vera Izurieta, D.F. and Cornejo, M., 2016. An integrated evaluation of potential management processes on marine reserves in continental Ecuador based on a Bayesian belief network model. OCEAN & COASTAL MANAGEMENT, 121, 60-69.
- Ng, T.P.T., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R. and Williams, G.A., 2016. Fighting for mates: the importance of individual size in mating contests in rocky shore littorinids. Marine Biology, 163 (3), 1-9.
- Howlett, S.J., Stafford, R., Waller, M., Antha, S. and Mason-Parker, C., 2016. Linking protection with the distribution of grouper and habitat quality in Seychelles. Journal of Marine Biology, 2016, 1.
- Kragh, G., Stafford, R., Curtin, S. and Diaz, A., 2016. Environmental volunteer well-being: Managers' perception and actual well-being of volunteers. F1000Research, 5.
- Stafford, R., Williams, R.L. and Herbert, R.J.H., 2015. Simple, policy friendly, ecological interaction models from uncertain data and expert opinion. Ocean and Coastal Management, 118, 88-96.
- Williams, R.L., Stafford, R. and Goodenough, A.E., 2015. Biodiversity in urban gardens: Assessing the accuracy of citizen science data on garden hedgehogs. Urban Ecosystems, 18 (3), 819-833.
- Stafford, R., Williams, R.L. and Herbert, R.J.H., 2015. Simple, policy friendly, ecological interaction models from uncertain data and expert opinion. Ocean and Coastal Management.
- Stafford, R., Ng, T.P.T., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2015. A biologically relevant rapid quantification of physical and biological stress profiles on rocky shores. Ecological Informatics, 25 (1), 43-48.
- Stafford, R., Ng, T.P.T., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2014. A biologically relevant rapid quantification of physical and biological stress profiles on rocky shores. Ecological Informatics.
- Williams, R.L., Stafford, R. and Goodenough, A.E., 2014. Biodiversity in urban gardens: assessing the accuracy of citizen science data on garden hedgehogs. Urban Ecosystems.
- Ahmed, B.Y., Husnain, O., Stafford, R., Howard, M., Gujar, A.S., Moradiya, V., Patel, K.K. and Sihotra, S., 2013. Hyperphosphorylation of CREB in human dopaminergic neurons: a kinetic study of cellular distribution of total CREB and phospho-CREB following oxidative stress. Neuroreport, 24 (13), 757-762.
- Ng, T.P.T., Saltin, S.H., Davies, M.S., Johannesson, K., Stafford, R. and Williams, G.A., 2013. Snails and their trails: the multiple functions of trail-following in gastropods. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc, 88 (3), 683-700.
- Stafford, R., Hart, A.G. and Goodenough, A.E., 2013. A visual method to identify significant latitudinal changes in species' distributions. Ecological Informatics, 15, 74-84.
- Williams, R.L., Goodenough, A.E., Hart, A.G. and Stafford, R., 2013. Using Long-Term Volunteer Records to Examine Dormouse (Muscardinusavellanarius) Nestbox Selection. PLoS One, 8 (6), e67986.
- Stafford, R., Smith, V.A., Husmeier, D., Grima, T. and Guinn, B.-A., 2013. Predicting ecological regime shift under climate change: New modelling techniques and potential of molecular-based approaches. CURRENT ZOOLOGY, 59 (3), 403-417.
- Hart, A., Stafford, R., Goodenough, A. and Morgan, S., 2012. The role of citizen science and volunteer data collection in zoological research. International Journal of Zoology.
- Stafford, R., Davies, M.S. and Williams, G.A., 2012. Misinterpreting the potential benefits of aggregation for reducing desiccation in the intertidal: A simple analogy. Marine Ecology, 33 (4), 512-515.
- Higby, L.K., Stafford, R. and Bertulli, C.G., 2012. An evaluation of ad hoc presence-only data in explaining patterns of distribution: Cetacean sightings from whale-watching vessels. International Journal of Zoology.
- Lloyd, J.R., Maldonado, M.A. and Stafford, R., 2012. Methods of developing user-friendly keys to identify green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas L.) from photographs. International Journal of Zoology.
- Stafford, R. et al., 2012. Inferential and visual analysis of ethogram data using multivariate techniques. Animal Behaviour, 83, 563-569.
- Goodenough, A.E., Hart, A.G. and Stafford, R., 2012. Regression with Empirical Variable Selection: Description of a New Method and Application to Ecological Datasets. Plos One, 7.
- Stafford, R., Davies, M.S. and Williams, G.A., 2012. Cheats in a cooperative behaviour? Behavioural differences and breakdown of cooperative behaviour in aggregating, intertidal littorinids (Mollusca). Marine Ecology-an Evolutionary Perspective, 33, 66-74.
- Williams, R.L., Goodenough, A.E. and Stafford, R., 2012. Statistical precision of diet diversity from scat and pellet analysis. Ecological Informatics, 7, 30-34.
- Goodenough, A.E., Hart, A.G., Stafford, R. and Elliot, S.L., 2011. Contrasting temporal changes in lay-date distributions in co-occurring populations of Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus and Great Tits Parus major. Bird Study, 58, 221-225.
- Ng, T.P.T., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R. and Williams, G.A., 2011. Mucus trail following as a mate-searching strategy in mangrove littorinid snails. Animal Behaviour, 82, 459-465.
- Rees, S.G., Goodenough, A.E., Hart, A.G. and Stafford, R., 2011. Testing the effectiveness of capture mark recapture population estimation techniques using a computer simulation with known population size. Ecological Modelling, 222, 3291-3294.
- Stafford, R., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2011. Robustness of Self-Organised Systems to Changes in Behaviour: An Example from Real and Simulated Self-Organised Snail Aggregations. Plos One, 6.
- Stafford, R., Hart, A.G., Collins, L., Kirkhope, C.L., Williams, R.L., Rees, S.G., Lloyd, J.R. and Goodenough, A.E., 2010. Eu-Social Science: The Role of Internet Social Networks in the Collection of Bee Biodiversity Data. PLoS ONE, 5 (12), 1-7.
- Kirkhope, C.L., Stafford, R. et al., 2010. Social networking for biodiversity: The BeeID project. 2010 International Conference on Information Society, i-Society 2010, 625-626.
- Stafford, R. and Catlin-Groves, C.L., 2010. Open source E-learning in higher education: Problems, solutions and long-term sustainability of the approach. 2010 International Conference on Information Society, i-Society 2010, 479-480.
- Stafford, R., Hart, A.G., Collins, L., Kirkhope, C.L., Williams, R.L., Rees, S.G., Lloyd, J.R. and Goodenough, A.E., 2010. Eu-Social Science: The Role of Internet Social Networks in the Collection of Bee Biodiversity Data. Plos One, 5.
- Goodenough, A.E., Hart, A.G. and Stafford, R., 2010. Is adjustment of breeding phenology keeping pace with the need for change? Linking observed response in woodland birds to changes in temperature and selection pressure. Climatic Change, 102, 687-697.
- Stafford, R., 2010. Crossing fitness valleys during the evolution of limpet homing behaviour. Central European Journal of Biology, 5, 274-282.
- Goodenough, A.E., Stafford, R., Catlin-Groves, C.L., Smith, A.L. and Hart, A.G., 2010. Within- and among-observer variation in measurements of animal biometrics and their influence on accurate quantification of common biometric-based condition indices. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 47, 323-334.
- Hart, A.G., Stafford, R., Smith, A.L. and Goodenough, A.E., 2010. Evidence for contemporary evolution during Darwin's lifetime. Current Biology, 20, R95.
- Catlin-Groves, C.L., Kirkhope, C.L., Goodenough, A.E. and Stafford, R., 2009. Use of confidence radii to visualise significant differences in principal components analysis: Application to mammal assemblages at locations with different disturbance levels. Ecological Informatics, 4, 147-151.
- Stafford, R., 2008. A computational approach to ecological and economic sustainable harvest management strategies in a multi-species context, with implications for cod recovery plans. Ecological Informatics, 3, 105-110.
- Stafford, R., Davies, M.S. and Williams, G.A., 2008. Parameterization and Prediction of Community Interaction Models Using Stable-State Assumptions and Computational Techniques: an Example From the High Rocky Intertidal. Biological Bulletin, 215, 155-163.
- Stafford, R., Davies, M.S. and Williams, G.A., 2008. Self-organization of intertidal snails facilitates evolution of aggregation behavior. Artificial Life, 14, 409-423.
- Stafford, R., Davies, M.S. and Williams, G.A., 2007. Computer simulations of high shore littorinids predict small-scale spatial and temporal distribution patterns on rocky shores. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 342, 151-161.
- Stafford, R. and Rind, F.C., 2007. Data mining neural spike trains for the identification of behavioural triggers using evolutionary algorithms. Neurocomputing, 70, 1079-1084.
- Stafford, R., Santer, R.D. and Rind, F.C., 2007. The role of behavioural ecology in the design of bio-inspired technology. Animal Behaviour, 74, 1813-1819.
- Stafford, R., Santer, R.D. and Rind, F.C., 2007. A bio-inspired visual collision detection mechanism for cars: Combining insect inspired neurons to create a robust system. Biosystems, 87, 164-171.
- Yue, S., Rind, F.C., Keil, M.S., Cuadri, J. and Stafford, R., 2006. A bio-inspired visual collision detection mechanism for cars: Optimisation of a model of a locust neuron to a novel environment. Neurocomputing, 69, 1591-1598.
- Stafford, R., 2006. Influence of gene-linkage and recombination of evolutionary algorithms on the rate of evolution, genetic diversity and the response of evolving populations to disturbance. Ecological Informatics, 1, 349-354.
- Santer, R.D., Rind, F.C., Stafford, R. and Simmons, P.J., 2006. Role of an identified looming-sensitive neuron in triggering a flying locust's escape. Journal of Neurophysiology, 95, 3391-3400.
- Stafford, R. and Davies, M.S., 2005. Spatial patchiness of epilithic biofilm caused by refuge-inhabiting high shore gastropods. Hydrobiologia, 545, 279-287.
- Santer, R.D., Stafford, R. and Rind, F.C., 2004. Retinally-generated saccadic suppression of a locust looming-detector neuron: investigations using a robot locust. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 1, 61-77.
- Attrill, M.J., Stafford, R. and Rowden, A.A., 2001. Latitudinal diversity patterns in estuarine tidal flats: indications of a global cline. Ecography, 24, 318-324.
- Cuadri, J., Linan, G., Stafford, R., Keil, M.S. and Roca, E., 2005. A bioinspired collision detection algorithm for VLSI implementation. In: Carmona, R.A. and LinanCembrano, G., eds. Bioengineered and Bioinspired Systems II. 238-248.
- Stafford, R. and Davies, M.S., 2005. Examining refuge location mechanisms in intertidal snails using artificial life simulation techniques. In: Capcarrere, M.S., Freitas, A.A., Bentley, P.J., Johnson, C.G. and Timmis, J., eds. Advances in Artifical Life, Proceedings. 520-529.
- Herbert, R.J.H., Blanco Fernández, E., Boutouil, M., Guerra, M., Hall, A.E., Pinto, I.S., Stafford, R., Parham, D. and Castro Fresno, D., 2018. Do Artificial Reefs have a role in the restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the NE Atlantic? In: International Marine Conservation Congress 5 22-30 June 2018 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
- Stafford, R., 2017. Lack of evidence for ecological benefits of community involvement and governance of MPAs. In: Marine Protected Areas Conference 15-17 May 2017 Poole.
- Jordan, A., Lowe, S., Haigh, N. and Stafford, R., 2017. The Environment In The EU Post-Brexit (Panel Discussion). In: Environment After Brexit: Building an Agenda for UK Environmental Law and Business 11 April 2017 Bournemouth, UK.
- Ng, T.P.T., Lau, S.L.Y., Seuront, L., Davies, M.S., Stafford, R., Marshall, D.J. and Williams, G.A., 2016. Linking behaviour and climate change: insights from intertidal snails. In: The 16th congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology 28 July-3 August 2016 Exeter, UK.
- Stafford, R., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2016. In desiccating environments snail aggregation is adaptive because it lowers water loss. An analogy showing why this statement is very difficult to validate. In: World Congress of Malacology 18-24 July 2016 Penang, Malaysia.
- Kragh, G., Stafford, R., Curtin, S. and Diaz, A., 2016. Understanding motivations of citizen scientists. In: First International ECSA Conference 2016: Citizen Science – Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy 19-21 May 2016 Berlin, Germany.
- Kragh, G., Stafford, R., Curtin, S. and Diaz, A., 2015. Understanding volunteers in ecology: relationships between motivation, well-being and project outcomes. In: BES Annual Meeting 13-16 December 2015 Edinburgh, UK.
- Stafford, R. and Spiers, E.K.A., 2015. Predators reduce carbon production in multi-trophic level marine ecosystems. In: British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 13-16 December 2015 Edinburgh, UK.
- Stafford, R., 2015. Using Python for ecological models. In: BES Annual Meeting 13-16 December 2015 Edinburgh, UK.
- Kragh, G., Stafford, R., Curtin, S. and Diaz, A., 2015. Understanding participants in citizen science: relationships between motivation, well-being and project outcomes. In: Science for the environment 1-2 October 2015 Aarhus, Denmark.
- Stafford, R., 2015. An integrated approach to marine ecosystem management in mainland Ecuador/ Un enfoque integrado de la gestión de los ecosistemas marinos en el Ecuador continental. In: Marine Biodiversity and Conservation 3 September 2015 Santa Elena, Ecuador.
- Stafford, R., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2015. Understanding decision-making and evolution in marine snails using computational techniques. In: Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conference 30 August-4 September 2015 Liverpool, UK.
- Stafford, R. and Ginige, T., 2015. Embedding predictive tools into marine environmental management policy and legislation. In: International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems 2015 1-4 June 2015 The University of Hong Kong.
- Ng, T.P.T., Saltin, S.H., Davies, M.S., Johannesson, K., Stafford, R. and Williams, G.A., 2014. Sex on the beach: a cocktail of behavioural repertoires which drive size-assortative mating in rocky shore littorinids. In: 10th International Temperate Reef Symposium 12-17 January 2014 Perth, Australia.
- Stafford, R., Ng., P.T.T., Williams, G.A. and Davies, M.S., 2014. Adaptive Physiology at a local scale, and implications for species distribution models under climate change scenarios. In: Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association 54th Conference. 12-16 May 2014 Sesimbra, Portugal.
- Stafford, R., Williams, R.L. and Herbert, R.J.H., 2014. Creating predictive models of community structure and change in marine systems by combining sparse data and expert opinion. In: Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association 54th Conference. 11-16 May 2014 Sesimbra, Portugal.
- Stafford, R. and Gardner, E., 2013. Synthesising diverse and sparse data in ecology. In: INTECOL 2013 18-23 August 2013 London.
- Stafford, R., 2012. Re-inventing the wheel: changing scientists', rather than the public's, attitudes to ecological data collection. In: European Congress on Conservation Biology 3-7 September 2012 Glasgow.
- Survey, taxonomic and data analysis skills in aquatic ecology (NERC, 01 Nov 2013). Awarded
- PGCHE in Higher Education Teaching (Univeristy of Gloucestershire, 2008)
- PhD in Marine Ecology and Ecological Modelling (University of Sunderland, 2002)
- BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology (Plymouth University, 1999)
- British Ecological Society, Member (2008-),
- Society for Conservation Biology, Member (2012-),