Academic career

2018: Visiting researcher, Harvard Forest, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.
2018: Loughborough University Research Fellow
2015-present: Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography, Loughborough University
2007-2015: Lecturer in Physical Geography, Loughborough University
2005-2007: Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Geography and Environmental Management, Department of Geography, Liverpool Hope University.

Professional responsibilities

2014-present: Member of British Council Researcher Links grants panel
2014-present: Member of the British Ecological Society Meetings Committee.
2012-present: Member of the British Ecological Society peer review college.

Prizes and awards

2015: Loughborough University Research Informed Teaching Award.

Jonathan's research focuses on understanding how plants and plant communities respond to environmental variability. The purpose of this is to understand the fundamentals of how plants work, and how they combine into communities; he also wants to establish how ecosystems respond to drivers of global environmental change such as climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition.

To achieve this, Jonathan uses a variety of approaches. He investigates how and why plants and plant communities vary geographically; he manipulates ecosystems experimentally and he investigates plant responses outside of their natural environment. A key tool for him has been the use of stable isotopes to interrogate the nitrogen cycle.

A current key part of Jonathan's research is understanding how local processes such as plant-plant interactions, plant-insect interactions, plant-soil interactions, nutrient use and cycling vary across large (regional and continental) scales. His primary study system is peat bogs. In these he has focused on the small carnivorous sundew Drosera rotundifolia. He also studies sand dune slack plant communities, and the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea, which has been introduced into Europe and can be invasive on some bogs.

Jonathan's interests are very broad, and he has collaborated widely on projects including sand dune geomorphology, stream-bed geomorphology, zoogeomorphology, and aquatic ecology.

Jonathan's teaching examines biogeographical and ecological patterns and processes.

Current postgraduate research students

  • Sarah Evans: "The invasive Asian clam in the UK"
  • Jonathan Slessor: "Using UAS (drones) to measure spatial variability on peatlands"
  • Ellen Goddard: "Invasive alien carnivorous plants: ecology, function and management of the purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in Europe"
  • Ciara Sugrue: "Using plant functional and community traits to predict the sensitivity of coastal dune wetlands to climate change and eutrophication"
  • Chris Hatcher: "Environmental impacts on carnivory in sundews"

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Atish Vadher (2018) "The hyporheic zone as a refugium for aquatic macroinvertebrates"
  • Joni Cook (2014) "Following Darwin's footsteps using 'the most wonderful plants in the world': the ecophysiological responses of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia to nitrogen availability"
  • Andrew Pledger (2014) "Foraging fish as zoogeomorphic agents: their effects on the structure and composition of gravel-bed river sediments with implications for bed material transport"