Caroline works as a Research Assistant within the SRI specialising in biodiversity and urban green infrastructure (UGI) design. Her PhD research investigated state of the art measures to maximise the biodiversity value of UGI, with a particular focus on brownfield biomimicry. Caroline has extensive experience in ecological consultancy, she specialises in bat and bird surveys and holds Natural England Class 2 survey and research bat licence.
Caroline started her doctoral research in June 2012, investigating state of the art measures to maximise the biodiversity value of green infrastructure in high-density urban situations. Before this she worked as an ecological consultant. Caroline says "working as an ecologist in London I learned that the city is rich in wildlife. With urban living booming, it is essential we design and develop our cities sensitively so that we look after people and biodiversity. The exciting opportunity with my PhD is that I can play a part in addressing this challenge".
At UEL, researching multifunctional green infrastructure to restore biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides is considered key to achieving truly sustainable development. The principles of biomimicry (emulating nature's strategies) underpin Caroline's research, in particular designing urban green infrastructure (UGI) to imitate and recreate the ecologically valuable features of Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land (OMH), a regionally important habitat for nature conservation in London and the Thames Corridor.
Caroline's research projects include a brownfield-inspired biosolar green roof in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, UEL's brownfield nature reserve known as the 'Beetle Bump', and at the Barking Riverside development site, 'brownfield' office landscaping and a novel 'wetland' green roof experiment. By studying the plant and invertebrate communities that develop on this innovative UGI, the research demonstrates that a biodiversity-driven approach to UGI design can maximise its value by sustaining important regional biodiversity without compromising on multifunctional benefits such as ecosystem services, climate change mitigation and urban resilience.
Caroline's PhD research forms part of the TURAS Project and was supported by Natural England and Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust.
Caroline has over eight years professional experience as an ecological consultant, with an emphasis on protected species surveys; primarily bats and birds. She holds a Class 2 Natural England survey and research licence for bats and has prepared successful Natural England European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) bat licence applications for large and small scale development projects. She has experience in a range of other protected species work such as reptile, great crested newt and badger surveys. Caroline has completed Preliminary Ecological Appraisals; reporting on and mapping habitats present at a site and assessing the potential for sites to support UK protected species, Species of Principal Importance and local Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species. Caroline has experience in preparing Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) for development projects in London.
Initial insights on the biodiversity potential of biosolar roofs: a London Olympic Park green roof case study.
Nash, C., Clough, J., Gedge, D., Lindsay, R., Newport, D., Ciupala, M.A. & Connop, S.. 2015. Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution. 1-14.