Dr Fiona Sanderson

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

My main research focus is the impact of international agriculture on biodiversity and how such research can be used to inform policy solutions to make agriculture more sustainable, tackling the problem of producing food and other commodities to meet increasing demand whilst conserving biodiversity and carbon stocks.

I am also interested in the effectiveness of policy instruments designed to protect and enhance biodiversity, such as the EU Birds Directive and UN-REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). The main geographical focus of my work is Europe and West Africa.

I am an experienced researcher and specialise in the analysis of large (up to continental-scale) spatial and non-spatial datasets and the application of non-standard statistical techniques.

My current and recent work includes:

  • Leading a Cambridge Conservation Initative-funded collaboration with Robert Beyer (involving BirdLife, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme and Cambridge University) to examine the environmental footprint of palm oil and other vegetable oils,
  • Working with Mark Hulme on the impact of cocoa rehabilitation on biodiversity in the area around Gola Rainforest National Park, a UN-REDD accredited site,
  • Analysing the impact of the EU Birds Directive on bird population trends across the EU.

I currently manage two other scientists, and I also sometimes supervise Masters students.

Partners and Collaboration

  • Dr Catherine Tayleur, BirdLife International
  • Dr Paz Duran, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Professor David Coomes, Cambridge University
  • Paul Donald, BirdLife International
  • Samantha Franks, British Trust for Ornithology
  • Ian Burfield, BirdLife International

Contact

Fona Sanderson

Dr Fiona Sanderson

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

RSPB Centre of Conservation Science, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 3QZ

fiona.sanderson@rspb.org.uk

@FionaJSanderson

Research Gate

Specialisms

Agriculture Identifying problems International species Protected areas Tropical forests

Selected Publications

Assessing the Performance of EU Nature Legislation in Protecting Target Bird Species in an Era of Climate Change

International legislation forms a cornerstone of conservation, yet its efficacy is rarely quantified. We assess whether species listed on Annex I of the European Union (EU) Birds Directive, for which EU Member States are obliged to implement special conservation measures, differ

Date
25 August 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Fiona Sanderson, Prof Richard Gregory, Dr Paul Donald
Authors
Sanderson, F.J., Pople, R.G., Ieronymidou, C., Burfield, I.J., Gregory, R.D., Willis, S.G., Howard, C., Stephens, P.A., Beresford, A.E. & Donald, P.F.
Published in
Conservation Letters
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Climate change

The contributions of the EU Nature Directives to the CBD and other multilateral environmental agreements

Through a review of published studies and new analyses of publicly available data, we assess how the European Union (EU) Nature Directives complements the CBD strategic goals for 2020 as set out in the 20 Aichi Targets, thereby addressing a question posed by the European Commission about the coherence of the Directives with other international biodiversity...

Date
01 June 2016
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan, Dr Fiona Sanderson, Dr Rebecca Jefferson
Authors
Beresford, A.E., Buchanan, G.M., Sanderson, F.J., Jefferson, R. & Donald, P.F.
Published in
Conservation Letters
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International Protected areas

Impacts of agricultural intensification and abandonment on farmland birds in Poland following EU accession

Intensification and abandonment of European farmland and consequent changes, usually declines, in farmland bird populations are strongly linked to the European Union's (EU) Common Agricultural Policy....

Date
15 March 2013
RSPB Authors
Dr Fiona Sanderson, Dr Paul Donald
Authors
Sanderson, F.J., Kucharz, M., Jobda, M. & Donald, P.
Published in
Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment
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International Agriculture

Predicting the effects of agricultural change on farmland bird populations in Poland

Measures of bird species richness, and the abundance or distribution of 20 farmland species, 12 of them species of European conservation concern (SPECs), were modelled as a function of a number of habitat...

Date
01 January 2009
RSPB Authors
Dr Paul Donald, Dr Fiona Sanderson
Authors
Sanderson, F.J. Kloch, A., Sachanowicz, K. & Donald, P.F.
Published in
Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment
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International Agriculture

Global Coverage of Agricultural Sustainability Standards, and Their Role in Conserving Biodiversity

Worldwide, agriculture is a leading cause of habitat loss, soil erosion, pollution, water-stress, and greenhouse-gas emissions. Smallholder farmers struggle to make a living in markets distorted by subsidies and inequitable trading relations, and problems of child and slave labor persist.

Date
20 September 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Fiona Sanderson, Dr Juliet Vickery
Authors
Andrew Balmford, Graeme M. Buchanan, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Heather Ducharme, Rhys E. Green, Jeffrey C. Milder, David H. L. Thomas, & Ben Phalan
Published in
Conservation Letters
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Agriculture