Dr Philip Stephens

Contact details

    Department of Biosciences,
    University of Durham, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE.
    Phone: +44 (0)191 334 9102 (Internal 49102, Room 206)
    Fax: +44 (0)117 334 1201
    E-Mail: Philip.Stephens "at" durham.ac.uk
    Conservation Ecology Group page



Research interests
  • Behavioural modelling
  • Dispersal, group-living and territoriality
  • Conservation of endangered species
  • Mammalian population dynamics
  • Energetics, behaviour and demography
  • Agriculture and the environment
  • Mathematical ecology



  Education and employment

  • 2017 - present
  • Associate Professor (Reader), Department of Biosciences, University of Durham
  • 2015 - 2016
  • Panel member, Science Panel to Quality Assure the UK and England Biodiversity Indicators, Defra
  • 2014 - present
  • Senior Editor, Journal of Applied Ecology
  • 2011 - 2017
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham
  • 2007 - 2011
  • Lecturer, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham
  • 2004 - 2007
  • NERC postdoc, Department of Mathematics, University of Bristol
  • 2002 - 2004
  • USDA Forest Service postdoc, Department of Zoology & Physiology, University of Wyoming
  • 2002
  • DEFRA postdoc, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • 1998 - 2002
  • PhD, University of East Anglia
  • 1996 - 1997
  • MSc (with Distinction): Conservation Biology, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology
  • 1990 - 1993
  • BSc: Zoology, University of Bristol

    Selected recent publications (for a full list of publications and links to reprints, click here).
    • Stephens, P.A. et al. (2016) Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents. Science 352, 84-87.

    • Stephens, P.A. "Population Viability Analysis". Oxford Bibliographies in Ecology. Ed. David Gibson. New York: Oxford University Press, 25/02/2016. doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199830060-0142.

    • Stephens, P.A. (2015) Land sparing, land sharing, and the fate of Africa's lions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, 14753–14754.

    • Stephens, P.A., Houston, A.I., Harding, K.C., Boyd, I.L. & McNamara, J.M. (2014) Capital and income breeding: the role of food supply. Ecology 95, 882-896.

    • Devenish-Nelson, E.S., Harris, S., Soulsbury, C.D., Richards, S.A. & Stephens, P.A. (2013) Demography of a carnivore, the red fox, Vulpes vulpes: what have we learnt from 70 years of published studies? Oikos 122, 705-716.

    • Flather, C.H., Hayward, G.D., Beissinger, S.R. & Stephens, P.A. (2011) Minimum viable populations: is there a “magic number” for conservation practitioners? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 26, 307-316.

    • Carbone, C., Pettorelli, N. & Stephens, P.A. (2011) The bigger they come the harder they fall: body size and prey abundance influence predator-prey ratios. Biology Letters 7, 312-315.

    • Speed, M.P., Ruxton, G.D., Blount, J.D. & Stephens, P.A. (2010) Diversification of honest signals in a predator-prey system. Ecology Letters 13, 744-753.

    Peer review

    I am currently a Senior Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology, a member of the NERC Peer Review College and a member of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology grant panel. I was formerly a handling editor for Endangered Species Research and a member of the Royal Society's International Exchanges panel. In addition, I have reviewed for a range of journals, including: American Naturalist; Animal Behaviour; Animal Conservation; Behavioral Ecology; Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology; Biology Letters; Biological Reviews; Conservation Letters; Ecological Modelling; Ecology; Ecology Letters; Global Change Biology; Journal of Animal Ecology; Mammal Review; Methods in Ecology & Evolution; Nature Climate Change; Nature Communications; Oikos; Oryx; PLoS One; Population Ecology; PNAS; Science; and Wildlife Research. I have also reviewed book proposals for Cambridge University Press; grant proposals for ESRC and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); and reports for DEFRA.






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