Joseph J. Bailey, BSc, MSc, PhD, FRGS, FHEA

Lecturer in Geography

School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy


T: 876 302

Dr Joseph Bailey, Lecturer: Geography

I am a biogeographer and macroecologist, interested in advancing our understanding of patterns of plant and animal life. In particular, I use information on geodiversity, which relates to landforms, geology, soils, and hydrology, to do this. Alongside my lecturing role at York St John University, I work with Operation Wallacea, a conservation research organisation. I am the Senior Scientist at their Transylvania (Romania) field site and I have worked with them in north-west Madagascar for five years.

I started my lectureship at York St John University in September 2018. Before this, I was a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham, and I had a research role alongside that position. I completed my NERC-funded PhD at the University of Nottingham, my thesis entitled: “Advancing biodiversity and species distribution modelling using geodiversity information”.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and serve on the committees for both the British Ecological Society’s (BES) Macroecology Special Interest Group and UK Advising and Tutoring (UKAT).

Please follow me on Twitter for research updates @josephjbailey


Further Information



At York St John University, I direct the first year ‘Ecosystems & Biogeography’ and third year ‘Habitat Management’ modules and supervise dissertation projects in those areas. I teach on other modules across the degree programme, such as first year ‘Fieldwork skills’ and third year ‘International Environmental Fieldwork’. My teaching involves interactive seminars, research workshops (e.g. quantitative techniques), and field courses, as well as more ‘traditional’ lectures. I always aim to incorporate my own research where possible.




My research on linking biodiversity and geodiversity – living and non-living nature – is truly geographical, combining knowledge from biogeography, ecology, macroecology, geomorphology, and geomorphometry (measuring the landscape using semi-automated methods). The work has both theoretical and applied dimensions. One of my main papers (with colleagues) focused on the role of geodiversity at different spatial scales (see Bailey et al., 2017), whilst we also linked geodiversity to plant distributions in Scotland (Bailey et al., 2018) . In a more applied sense, my research work has direct relevance to conservation and management efforts around conserving ‘geodiverse’ areas to help with biodiversity conservation (see Tukiainen, Bailey, et al., 2017). We recently published a review paper on geodiversity as the lead paper for a special issue on Alexander von Humboldt (Schrodt et al., 2019). A large project that I am involved with just saw its inaugural publication entitled ‘To advance sustainable stewardship, we must document not only biodiversity but geodiversity’ (Schrodt, Bailey et al., 2019). We aim here to improve the way we monitor geodiversity by standardising measuring and monitoring, which is essential for nature and human health.

Elsewhere, my research areas from the Operation Wallacea field sites in Madagascar and Romania includes: biodiversity change, habitat fragmentation and connectivity, human-landscape interactions, microendemic spiders, plant indicator species, and lemur behaviour, to name but some aspects.

Please also see my ResearchGate profile or RaY.


Publications and Conferences


Schrodt, F., Bailey J. J. et al. (2019) ‘Opinion: To advance sustainable stewardship, we must document not only biodiversity but geodiversity’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(33), pp. 16155–16158. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1911799116.

Schrodt, F., Santos, M. J., Bailey, J. J. & Field, R. (2019). Challenges and opportunities for biogeography—What can we still learn from von Humboldt?, Journal of Biogeography.

Bailey, J. J., Boyd, D. S., & Field, R. (2018). Models of upland species' distributions are improved by accounting for geodiversity. Landscape Ecology

Bailey, J. J., Boyd, D. S., Hjort, J., Lavers, C. P., & Field, R. (2017). Modelling native and alien vascular plant species richness: At which scales is geodiversity most relevant? Global Ecology and Biogeography, 26(7), 763–776.

Tukiainen, H., Bailey, J. J., Field, R., Kangas, K., & Hjort, J. (2017). Combining geodiversity with climate and topography to account for threatened species richness. Conservation Biology, 1–37.

Graham, L. J., Bailey, J. J., Algar, A. C., & Field, R. (2014). Where next for macroecology: citizen macroecology ? Frontiers of Biogeography, 6(1), 16–19.

Priestnall, G., Lorenz, K., Heffernan, M., Bailey, J. J., Goodere, C., & Sullivan, R. (2014). Reconstruction and Display of a Nineteenth Century Landscape Model. Digital Humanities Conference, Lausanne, Long Paper.


Professional Activities



British Ecological Society (BES)

BES Macroecology Special Interest Group (Committee Role)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

International Biogeography Society

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)

UK Advising and Tutoring (UKAT, Committee Role)



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