Professor Xavier Lambin

Professor Xavier Lambin

Chair in Zoology

Professor Xavier Lambin
Professor Xavier Lambin

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273259
The University of Aberdeen Room 408 Zoology building Tillydrone Avenue Aberdeen AB24 2TZ Scotland UK
Web Links



2016 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh FRSE 

2015 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology FRSB 

2004 Professor of Ecology, University of Aberdeen 

1994 Lecturer, Senior Lecturer (1999), Reader in zoology (2002) University of Aberdeen

1993 NATO/Royal Society Research Fellow at Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Banchory field Station

1992 PhD University of Louvain & Univ British Columbia, Personal Reseach Fellowship National Foundation for Scientific Research (Belgium)

1988-1991 Visiting Graduate Student, University of British Columbia1986 BSc Zoological Sciences, University of Louvain, First class

1988 MSc Biology, University of Louvain, First class

1987 Visiting Graduate Student, University of Oslo 


Research Interests

My research seeks to understand the contributions of dispersal to the dynamics of populations,  how the outcome of trophic interactions is modified by dispersal and to optimise the use of concepts from population ecology to solve pressing applied issues in wildlife management and conservation.

I achieve these aims by conducting large scale, often long term field studies with birds and mammals as well as by linking theoretical insights with empirical findings using state of the art statistical techniques. Ongoing projects include

  1. Metapopulation dynamics including of water voles and the role of dispersal and connectivity in fragmented systems on soil processes and vegation dynamics and disease dynamics
  2. Intraguild predation interactions and other interactions in bird of prey communities including those ivolving the northern goshawk, owls, other birds of prey and the pine marten
  3. The impact of the recovery of pine martens on grey and red squirrels, the squirrel pox virus and conservation and land use issues surrounding non-native grey squirrels
  4. The changing dynamics of cyclic field and  common voles in the UK and Spain and their relationships with the predators parasites and food plants
  5. The management of non-native American mink and the volunteers and organsiations that are working to push back this invasion 
  6. The management of non-native signal crayfish at the edge of their invasion front where they are predicted to profoundly damage freshwater fisheries and ecosystems

Current Research

Google Scholar profile

ResearcherID: E-8284-2011


Spatial dynamics of pathogens and hosts

Dr Sandra Telfer (water vole metapopulations, disease dynamics);  Prof Mike Begon (University of Liverpool)

Cyclic Vole demography

Prof Juan Luque Larena, Dr  Francois Mougeot, Dr Beatriz Arroyo (Irruptive vole populations in Catilla y Leon CSIC IREC) ; Dr Eloy Revilla and Ruben Bernardo (meta-analyses of vole demography CSIC Donana, Spain); Prof sue Hartley (Univ York plant herbivore dynamics)

Statistical ecology

Dr Chris Sutherland (Univ Massashusets); Prof David Elston (BioSS); Dr Thomas Cornulier (statistical models of population dynamics, voles mink and more)

Raptor dynamics and life histories

Dr Alexandre Millon (Univ Aix Marseille), Dr Steve Petty (retired), Dr Phil Whitfield (Natural Research), Dr Ewan Weston (Natural Research) 

Adaptive management of Invasive species  

Chris Horrill, Ann Marie MacMaster (American mink participatory management, RAFTS); Prof Rene van der Wal (Citizen science and Minkapp);  Prof Colin Bean (Crayfish SNH), Bob Laughton (Crayfish Nairn river trust), 

Ecosystem dynamics

Prof Rolf Ims and Prof Nigel Yoccoz (University of Tromso Norway); Ricardo Pita (Univ Evora, Portugal)

Biodiversity and forest management

Kenny Kortland (pine martens, wood ants, squirrels, Forest Enterprise Scotland)

Research Grants


  title Funder Amount Partners

2019 -22

 CONTAIN: Optimising the long term management of invasive species affecting biodiversity and the rural economy using adaptive management  NERC- NEWTON  LATAM program  £1,2M  with burslem Phimister, Travis cornulier Caplat and Latin america Partners
2018 -22 Leaving the safety of the forest: the landscape-scale dynamics of a protected mobile species occupying areas with varying levels of protection NERC £89K A Stringer, Forestry England & Raptor Study groups
 2017 -22 Assessing the economic and conservation impacts of the pine marten, a recovering predator, non-native grey squirrels, and forest land management 



A Stringer, Forestry England, PTES
 2016-- ongoing

Adaptive monitoring and management for endangered species conservation in boreal forest ecosystems with newly enriched guild of predators

Forestry and Land Scotland    K Kortland

Teaching Responsibilities

Course organiser for 4th year course Zo4527 in Wildlife conservation and management concepts and practice

Contributor to MSc in Ecology and Sustainability course Zo5304 Population Ecology 

Contributor to MSc course EK5506 Ecology and Society

Contributor to 3rd year course Zo3303 in Animal Population Ecology

Contributor to 3rd year field course BI3001 Field Ecology Skills

Contributor to 2nd year course BI2020 Ecology

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Prof Lambin is currently:

A member of REF2021 panel B7 Earth Systems and Environmental Science

A member of Orkney's Native wildlife Project Technical Advisory committee

a member of Scotland Invasive Species Initiative steering board

A member of Scottish Natural Heritage Scientific Advisory Committe Expert panel 




Previous postdoctoral fellows

a.Independent fellows

  1. Diana Fisher Royal Society Postdoctoral fellow, (2001- 2002) Investigating behavioural mechanisms of density-dependent immigration and implications for population dynamics in the water vole.  Now ARC future Fellow, Senior Lecturer @ University of Queensland.
  2. Juan Luque Larena Marie Curie Fellowship, (2003-2004). American mink invasion and conservation: testing and applying predator prey ecological theory. Now Professor @ University of Valladolid.
  3. Andrzej Zalewski Marie Curie Fellowship, (2005-2007). Control of an invasive predator for conservation: Spatial density dependent dispersal in American mink Now Professor and Leader of the Research Group Unit Ecophysiology and Behavioral Ecology @ Polish Academy of Sciences, Mammal research Institute
  4. Yolanda Melero “Beatriu de Pinós-A” postdoctoral fellowship, then Marie Curie Fellowship (2012-2014).DEPENSATION—Spatial population dynamics of invasive non-native species (re)invasions at low density. Now researcher @ CREAF, Barcelona.
  5. Emma Sheehy (2014-2016)The influence of recovering pine marten on the interactions between red and grey squirrels. Funded by ELEVATE fellowship and forestry commission Scotland
  6. Francisco Javier  Zabala Albizua (2015-2017). Delivering better fitness estimators for wildlife ecology and management and effective monitoring” Marie Curie Fellowship. now @ University of florida

 b. Research staff previously employed on grants

  1. Karen Hodges; PDRA (2003-2004) on NERC grant Cycles and waves in vole populations. Nnow Associate Professor @ University of British Columbia, Okanogan campus.
  2. Jonathan Fairbairn; PDRA (2004-2005) on NERC grant Cycles and waves in vole populations. Now @ FDM ecology
  3. Thomas Cornulier;  PDRA on NERC UKPopNet grant (2004-2007) Predicting population dynamics in a changing environment and NERC/BiodivERsA grant Interacting impacts of land use and climate changes on ecosystem processes: from cyclic herbivores to predators of conservation concern(2009-2011). Now research fellow @ University of Aberdeen
  4. Ros Bryce; PDRA (2006-2009) on Tubney Charitable Trust grant Cairngorms Water Vole Conservation Project and NERC/BiodivERsA grant Interacting impacts of land use and climate changes on ecosystem processes: from cyclic herbivores to predators of conservation concern(2009-2011). Now @ University of Highlands and Islands, Perth.
  5. Fergus Massey; PDRA on NERC (2008-2010) grant Do silica-based defences drive plant-herbivore dynamics?  Now Head of Department Albyn School, Aberdeen.
  6. Jane Degabriel; PDRA on NERC (2010-2011) grant Do silica-based defences drive plant-herbivore dynamics? Now research fellow @ University of Western Sydney.
  7. Alexandre Millon; PDRA on NERC grant Reproductive strategies under a cyclic environmentand NERC grant Integrating individual decisions and condition-dependent dispersal to predict spatial population dynamics of resource-limited predators. Now Associate Professor @ University of Aix Marseille.
  8. Matthew Oliver; PDRA on NERC grant Overcoming the compensatory response of an invasive predator (2007-2009) and NERC grant Dispersal and depensation in low density culled mink populations(2012). Now self employed ecologist.

Past  PhD and MSc students

1.    Sandra Telfer (1997) MSc Population viability of water voles in north east Scotland. Now @ University of Aberdeen.

2.    Wendy Stewart (1997) MSc    Microsatellites and genetic structure in water voles Part-time technician (co-supervised with John Dallas and Stuart Piertney).

3.    Jason Matthiopoulos (1998) Modelling the kinship hypothesis for red grouse (co-supervised with Robert Moss (CEH)). Now @ University of Glasgow.

4.    Andrew DC MacColl (1998) Factors Affecting recruitment in Red Grouse (co-supervised with Robert Moss (CEH)). Now @ University of Nottingham.

5.    James L MacKinnon (1998) Spatial synchrony in cyclic field vole populations (co-supervised with Steve Petty (Forest Research), Tom Sherratt and Chris Thomas (Durham University). Now @ Conservation International

6.    Shahrul Anuar Mohd Sah (1998) Spacing pattern and mating system in water voles (Arvicola terrestris) in north-east Scotland. Now @ Universiti Sains Malaysia.

7.    Julie MacKnight  (1999) MSc Habitat selection by common weasels (co-supervised with Soren Bondrup Nielsen, registered at the Acadia University Canada). Now @ Environment Canada.

8.    Isla M Graham (2001) Weasels and Vole Cycles: An Experimental Test of the Specialist Predator Hypothesis (co-supervised with Jonathan Humphreys (Forest Research). Now @ University of Aberdeen.

9.    Sandra Telfer (2000) Dispersal and metapopulation dynamics in water vole populations. Now @ University of Aberdeen.

10. Arjun Amar (2001) Conservation of declining hen harriers Circus cyaneus in Orkney: roles of land use and polygyny.(co-supervised with Steve Redpath (CEH), Ron  Summers (RSPB). Now @ Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology.

11.Ann Humble (2002) MPhil. Habitat selection in short eared owls            (co-supervised with Martyn Gorman, Richard Birnie, and Richard Aspinal (MLURI)). Now @ Natural Resources Wales.

12.John Durban (2002) Bayesian methods for marine mammal population assessment (co-supervised with Paul M Thompson and David Elston (BioSS)). Now @ NOAA southwest fisheries Science Center.

13.Torbjorn Ergon (2003) Life history variation in cyclic field vole populations (co-supervised with Nils C Stenseth, registered at the University of Oslo). Now @ University of Oslo.

14.Miriam Brandt (2003) Density dependence in weasel populations. Registered at the University of Bielefeld Germany). Now @ bioconsult-sh.

15.Kerry Lock (2004). Role of nepotism in driving red grouse population cycles (co-supervised with Steve Redpath (CEH), and Stuart Piertney). Now @ EarthTrust.

16.Stijn Bierman (2004) Spatio temporal models in ecology. (co-supervised with David Elston (BioSS) and Iain Wilson). Now @ Shell Global solutions

17.Sarah Burthe (2004) Cowpox dynamics in cyclic population (co-supervised with Mike Begon Malcolm Bennett (registered at the University of Liverpool). Now @ Cedntre for Ecology and Hydrology Edinburgh.

18.Sevvandi Jayakody (2005) Habitat selection in red deer hinds (co-supervised with Iain Gordon and Angela Sibbald (MLURI)). Now @ Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.

19.Kenneth Kortland (2005) MSc Landscape effects on capercaillie          (co-supervised with ron Summers (RSPB) and Chris Quine (Forest Research). Now @ Forest Enterprise Scotland

20.Ros Bryce (2005) The ecosystem engineering and trophic effects of the water vole: species loss and ecosystem processes (co-supervised with Philip Hulme (CEH)). Now @ University of highlands and Islands, Perth

21.Michelle Sims (2006) Models of animal populations          (co-supervised with David Elston (BioSS) and Iain Wilson). Now @ University of Bath.

22.Matthew J Smith (2007) Cycles and waves in population dynamics 9co-supervised with Jonathan Sherratt and Andy White (University of Herriot Watt). Now @ Microsoft Research.

23.Edoardo Tedesco (2010) Dispersal in a highly fragmented water vole metapopulation.

24.Ali Abdullah M Shati (2007) Thresholds for ectoparasite persistence in a vertebrate metapopulation. (Co-supervised with Stuart Piertney). Now @ King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia.

25.Anna Renwick (2009) Abundance thresholds and ecological processes in a fragmented landscape: field voles, parasites and predators. Now @ University of Queensland

26.Nacho Villar (2010) Land use and population regulation: vole dynamics in a grazing experiment (co-supervised with Steve Redpath (CEH)). Now @ researcher in Brazil

27.Anna Evely (2010) An investigation into integrating knowledge for conservation (co-supervised with Ioan Fazey (University of Bangor) and Michelle Pinard). Now @ Project Maya.

28.Chris Sutherland (2013) A quantitative investigation of metapopulation dynamics in a naturally fragmented population of water voles Arvicola amphibious (co-supervised with David Elston (BioSS) and Len Thomas (University of St Andrews)). Now @ University Massachusetts.

29.Greta Bocedi (2013) Understanding species’ eco-evolutionary dynamics in a variable and changing world: Dispersal and integrated simulation modelling (administrative role only). Now @ University of Aberdeen.

30.Elaine J Fraser (2013)An Integrative Approach to Inform Invasive Species Management – The Case of American Mink (Neovison vison) in Scotland (co-supervised with David W MacDonald (University of Oxford WILCRU)). Now @ SNH

31.Claire Davies (2014) Parasite dynamics and community richness in a naturally fragmented water vole (Arvicola amphibius) metapopulation (co-supervised with Sandra Telfer).

32.Ewan Weston (2014) Juvenile dispersal behaviour in the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) (co-supervised with Phil Whitfield (Natural Research) and Justin Travis. Now @ Natural Research.

33.Sarah Hoy (2011-2015) Superpredation in a raptor community: goshawks and tawny owls (co-supervised with Alex Millon (Université de Aix-Marseille) and Phil Whitfield, Natural Research). Funded by NERC CASE award with Natural Research. Now PDRA School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University

34. Marie Pages (2012-2016) Volunteer motivation and the management of invasive species      (co-supervised with Anke Fisher (JHI) and Rene van der Wal). Funded by NERC CASE award with Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland          

35. Rupert Houghton (2013-2017) Overcoming barriers to action: managing invasive signal crayfish (co-supervised with Colin Bean (SNH), Robert Laughton (Nain river trust) and Doerthe Tetzlaff). Funded by University of Aberdeen EFS.

36. William Morgan (2014-2018) Assisted spread through translocation of water voles.Funded by Aberdeen City Council and Transport Scotland.           

37. Ewan McHenry (2014-2018) Doing more with less: adaptive management of American mink population (co-supervised with David Elston and Thomas Cornulier). Funded by People’s Trust for Endangered species.  

38.  Ruth Rodriguez, Population dynamics and tularemia in common vole populations Universitad Valladolid  With Juan Luque Larena, Francois Mougeot, Beatriz Arroyo


Current PhD students

 5)    Richard Hassal (2015-2019) Understanding the generation and dynamics of Bartonella diversity in fragmented host populations Funded by BBSRC EASTBIO

6)    Deon Roos (2016-2020) A multi-scale bio-economic approach to optimising the management of emerging rodent crop pests: global trade of dairy cow feed product, local land use changes and continental-scale biodiversity impacts of resistance strategies. Funded by BBSRC EASTBIO

7)    Keziah Hobson (2016-2020) Assessing the economic and conservation impacts of the pine marten, a recovering predator, on non-native grey squirrels, and forest land management.  Funded by NERC ICase with Jonathan Spencer FC co-supervisor

Cristian Navarro

Katie August

Laura MacKenzie

External PhD students

1)    Ruben Bernardo Population dynamics of voles: Characterization and modelling of global spatio-temporal patterns.with Eloy Revilla CSIC Estacion Biologica de Donana

2)    Joseph Drake.Quantifying connectivity in fragmented population.  University Massachusetts Amherst 2016-2020.  With Chris Sutherland

Current postdoctoral Fellows





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  • Lambin, X, Burslem, D, Caplat, P, Cornulier, T, Gabriella, D, Fasola, L, Fidelis, A, Garcia-Diaz, P, Langdon, B, Linardaki, E, Montti, L, Moyano, J, Nuñez, MA, Palmer, SCF, Pauchard, A, Phimister, E, Pizarro, JC, Powell, P, Raffo, E, Rodríguez-Jorquera, IA, Roesler, I, Tomasevic, JA, Travis, JMJ & Verdugo, C 2020, 'CONTAIN: Optimising the long-term management of invasive alien species using adaptive management', NeoBiota, vol. 59, pp. 119-138. [Online] DOI:
  • Sales, N, McKenzie, M, Drake, J, Harper, L, Browett, S, Coscia, I, Wangensteen, O, Baillie, C, Bryce, E, Dawson, D, Ochu, E, Hänfling, B, Lawson-Handley, L, Mariani, S, Lambin, X, Sutherland, C & McDevitt, AD 2020, 'Fishing for mammals: Landscape‐level monitoring of terrestrial and semi‐aquatic communities using eDNA from riverine systems', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 707-716. [Online] DOI:
  • Arts, K, Melero, Y, Webster, G, Sharma, N, Tintarev, N, Tait, E, Mellish, C, Sripada, S, MacMaster, AM, Sutherland, H, Horrill, C, Lambin, X & van der Wal, R 2020, 'On the merits and pitfalls of introducing a digital platform to aid conservation management: Volunteer data submission and the mediating role of volunteer coordinators', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 265, 110497. [Online] DOI:
  • Zabala, J, Lambin, X, Soufflot, J, Soufflot, P, Chenesseau, D & Millon, A 2020, 'Proximate causes and fitness consequences of double brooding in female barn owls', Oecologia, vol. 192, pp. 91-103. [Online] DOI:
  • Mill, AC, Crowley, SL, Lambin, X, McKinney, C, Maggs, G, Robertson, P, Robinson, NJ, Ward, AI & Marzano, M 2020, 'The challenges of long-term invasive mammal management: lessons from the UK', Mammal Review, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 136-146. [Online] DOI:
  • Baudrot, V, Fernandez-de-Simon, J, Coeurdassier, M, Couval, G, Giraudoux, P & Lambin, X 2020, 'Trophic transfer of pesticides: The fine line between predator–prey regulation and pesticide–pest regulation', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 806-818. [Online] DOI:
  • Morgan, WH, Cornulier, T & Lambin, X 2019, 'Colonisation dynamics during range expansion is poorly predicted by dispersal in the core range', Ecography, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 1142-1151. [Online] DOI:
  • Proença-Ferreira, A, Ferreira, C, Leitão, I, Paupério, J, Sabino-Marques, H, Barbosa, S, Lambin, X, Alves, PC, Beja, P, Moreira, F, Mira, A & Pita, R 2019, 'Drivers of survival in a small mammal of conservation concern: An assessment using extensive genetic non-invasive sampling in fragmented farmland', Biological Conservation, vol. 230, pp. 131-140. [Online] DOI:
  • Pagès, M, Fischer, A, van der Wal, R & Lambin, X 2019, 'Empowered communities or "cheap labour"? Engaging volunteers in the rationalised management of invasive alien species in Great Britain', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 229, pp. 102-111. [Online] DOI:
  • Mougeot, F, Lambin, X, Rodriguez-Pastor, R, Romairone, J & Luque-Larena, J-J 2019, 'Numerical response of a mammalian specialist predator to multiple prey dynamics in Mediterranean farmlands', Ecology, vol. 100, no. 9, e02776. [Online] DOI:
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