Dr Duncan Westbury

dr-duncan-westbury

Principal Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Management

Geography, Archaeology and the Environment

Contact Details

email: d.westbury@worc.ac.uk
tel: +44 (0) 1905 542461

twitter: @DuncanWestbury

Dr Duncan Westbury joined the University of Worcester in 2011 after nearly 10 years of post-doctoral research and lecturing at the University of Reading. He has gained a very strong background in applying ecological principles to habitat creation and management, with specific research experience on the management of agro-ecosystems to support biodiversity whilst simultaneously supporting ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes.

Previously, Duncan has been a lead plant ecologist on several Defra-funded agro-ecology projects investigating methods of promoting biodiversity in arable and grassland habitats. At the University of Worcester, he leads the Ecology and Environment Research Group (EERG), which focusses on the delivery of ecosystem services, and wildlife management.

Key projects have included:

Qualifications

Employment History

2017 - Present          Principal Lecturer, University of Worcester
2011- 2017                Senior Lecturer, University of Worcester
2008 - 2011               Teaching Fellow, University of Reading
2002 - 2008               Research Fellow, University of Reading

Teaching

I am the Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and teach on a range of Undergraduate modules (see below). My teaching is strongly influenced by my previous and current research activities in agro-ecology. This involves elements of fundamental ecology through to environmental management and the delivery of ecosystem services.
I predominantly teach students studying:

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
Ecology joint degrees

Undergraduate Modules

Level 4 (1st Year Undergraduates)

ENVS1012 Environmental Change Past and Present

ENVS1101 Current Environmental Issues

ENVS1102 Basis of Biological Surveying

Level 5 (2nd Year Undergraduates)

ENVS 2010 Research Practice & Professional Development

Level 6 (3rd Year Undergraduates)

ENVS 3106 Landscape Ecology
ENVS 3002 Independent Study (Dissertation) Coordinator

Research

Current research interests address the increasing concerns about environmental change and the degradation and loss of ecosystem services.

Key research areas include:

  • Enhancing pest regulation and pollination services in tree fruit.
  • Ruminant livestock production and species-rich grasslands.
  • Habitat restoration, creation and maintenance.
  • Plant community ecology and vegetation dynamics.

PhD Studentships available at the University of Worcester are advertised on FindAPhD. I also welcome any approach from self-funded high achieving graduates that would like to study for a PhD in Ecology / Environmental Science at the University of Worcester. Topics of particular interest would focus on the delivery of ecosystem services, resource protection, and habitat creation and management.

Current PhD Students

Zeus Mateos-Fierro: Sustainable production of sweet cherry: maximizing benefits from ecosystem services (Director of studies)
Alice Mockford: Enhancing pest regulation by natural enemies in Spanish orange groves (Director of studies)
Charlotte Selvey: Understanding the risks of biodiversity loss in PepsiCo's agricultural supply chains. (Thesis committee board member)

Completed PhD Students

Megan McKerchar: Enhancing pollination and pest regulation services in apple orchards by supplementing floral resources (Director of studies)
Robin Blake: Increasing the biodiversity benefits of existing field margins through novel management practices.
Nisrine Machaka: The ecology, distribution and conservation status of Orchis galilaea (Bornm. & M.Schulze) Schltr. in Lebanon.
Beverley Adams-Groom: Pollen concentrations in surface soil in a forensic palynology context.

Completed MRes Students

Rob Shotton - Solar farms and use by farmland birds (in conjunction with the RSPB).   

Refereed Journal Papers

Machaka-Houri, N.,Houri, A., Knio, K.M.and Westbury, D.B. (2018) Ecological interactions of the sexually deceptive orchid Orchis Galilaea.Journal of Plant Interactions, 13 (1). 315-320.

Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A., Harris, S.J., Brown, V.K., & Potts, S.G. (2017) Buffer strip management to deliver plant and invertebrate resources for farmland birds in agricultural landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, 240, 215-223.

Hicks, D.M., Ouvard, P., Baldock, K.C.R, Baude, M., Goddard, M.A., Kunin, W.E., Mitschunas, N., Memmott, J., Morse, H., Nikolitsi, M., Osgathorpe, L.M., Potts, S.G., Robertson, K.M., Scott, A.V., Sinclair, F., Westbury, D.B., & Stone, G.N. (2016) Food for pollinators: quantifying the nectar and pollen resources of urban flower meadows. PLOS One (11) 16.

Garratt, M.P.D., Breeze, T.D., Boreux, V., Fountain, M.T., McKerchar, M., Webber, S.M., Coston, D.J., Jenner, N., Dean, R., Westbury, D.B., Biesmeijer, J.C., Potts, S.G., 2016. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity. PloS one 11.

Hammond K.J., Humphries D.J., Westbury D.B., Thompson A., Crompton L.A., Kirton P., Green C. and Reynolds C.K. (2014). The inclusion of forage mixtures in the diet of growing dairy heifers: Impacts on digestion, energy utilisation, and methane emissions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 197, 88-95.

Blake, R.J., Woodcock, B.A., Westbury, D.B., Sutton, P., and Potts, S.G. (2013). Novel management to enhance spider biodiversity in existing grass buffer strips. Agricultural and Forest Entomology 15, 77-85.

Blake R.J., Westbury D.B., Woodcock B.A., Sutton P. & Potts S.G. (2012) Enhancement of buffer strips can improve provision of multiple ecosystem services. Outlooks on Pest Management, 23(6), 258-262.

Machaka-Houri, N.,Houri, A., Knio, K.M.and Westbury, D.B. (2018) Ecological interactions of the sexually deceptive orchid Orchis Galilaea.Journal of Plant Interactions, 13 (1). 315-320.

Machaka-Houri, N., Al-Zein, M.S, Westbury, D.B., Talhouk, S.N. (2012) Reproductive success of the rare endemic Orchis galilaea (Bornmuller & Schulze) Schlechter in Lebanon. Turkish Journal of Botany, 36, 677-682.

Blake R.J., Westbury D.B., Woodcock B.A., Sutton P. & Potts S.G. (2012) Investigating the phytotoxicity of the graminicide fluazifop-P-butyl against native UK wildflower species. Pest Management Science 68: 412421

Woodcock, B.A., Westbury, D.B., Brook, A.J., Lawson, C.S., Edwards, A.R., Harris, S.J., Heard, M.S., Brown, V.K., Mortimer, S.R., (2012). Effects of seed addition on beetle assemblages during the re-creation of species-rich lowland hay meadows. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 5, 19-26.

Mauchline, A.L., Mortimer, S.R., Park, J.R., Finn, J.A., Haysom, K., Westbury, D.B., Purvis, G., Louwagie, G., Northey, G., Primdahl, J., Vejre, H., Kristensen, L.S., Teilmann, K.V., Vesterager, J.P., Knickel, K., Kasperczyk, N., Balazs, K., Podmaniczky, L., Vlahos, G., Christopoulos, S., Kroger, L., Aakkula, J., Yli-Viikari, A., (2012). Environmental evaluation of agri-environment schemes using participatory approaches: Experiences of testing the Agri-Environmental Footprint Index. Land Use Policy, 29, 317-328.

Westbury, D.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J., Kessock-Philip, R., Edwards, A.R., Chaney, K., Lewis, P., Dodd, S., Buckingham, D.L., Peach, W.J., (2011) Plant and invertebrate resources for farmland birds in pastoral landscapes.Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 142, 266-274.

Blake, R.J., Woodcock, B.A., Westbury, D.B., Sutton, P., Potts, S.G. (2011) New tools to boost butterfly habitat quality in existing grass buffer strips. Journal of Insect Conservation, 15, 221-232.

Blake, R.J., Woodcock, B.A., Westbury, D.B., Sutton, P., and Potts, S.G. (2011) Enhancing habitat to help the plight of the bumblebee. Pest Management Science, 67(4), 377-379.

Westbury, D.B., Park, J.R., Mauchline, A.L., Crane, R.T. & Mortimer, S.R. (2011) Assessing the environmental performance of English arable and livestock holdings using data from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 902-909.

Peach, W. J., Dodd, S., Westbury, D. B., Mortimer, S. R., Lewis, P., Brook, A. J., Harris, S. J., Kessock-Philip, R., Buckingham, D. L., & Chaney, K. (2010). Cereal-based wholecrop silages: A potential conservation measure for farmland birds in pastoral landscapes. Biological Conservation, 144, 836-850.

Woodcock, B.A., Vogiatzakis, I.N., Westbury, D.B., Lawson, C.S., Edwards, A.R., Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J., Lock, K.A., Maczey, N., Masters, G., Brown, V.K. & Mortimer, S.R. (2010) The role of management and landscape context in the restoration of grassland phytophagous beetles. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 366376.

Woodcock, B. A., Edwards, A. R., Lawson, C. S., Westbury, D. B., Brook, A. J., Harris, S. J., Masters, G., Booth, R., Brown, V. K. & Mortimer, S. R. (2010) The Restoration of Phytophagous Beetles in Species-Rich Chalk Grasslands. Restoration Ecology, 18, 638-644.

Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A., Harris, S.J., Brown, V.K. & Potts S.G. (2008) The effects of seed mix and management on the abundance of desirable and pernicious unsown species in field margin communities. Weed Research, 48, 113-123.

Westbury, D.B. & Dunnett, N.P. (2008) The promotion of grassland forb abundance: a chemical or biological solution? Basic and Applied Ecology, 9, 653-662.

Woodcock B.A., Westbury D.B., Tscheulin T., Harrison-Cripps J., Harris S.J., Ramsay A.J., Brown V.K., & Potts S.G. (2008) Effects of seed mixture and management on beetle assemblages of arable field margins. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 125, 246-254.

Woodcock. B.A., Edwards, A.R., Lawson, C.S., Westbury, D.B., Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J., Brown, V.K. & Mortimer, S.R. (2008) Contrasting success in the restoration of plant and phytophagous beetle assemblages of species-rich mesotrophic grasslands. Oecologia, 154, 773-783.

Storkey, J. & Westbury, D.B. (2007) Managing arable weeds for biodiversity. Pest Management Science, 63, 517-523.

Woodcock, B.A., Potts, S.G., Westbury, D.B., Ramsay, A.J., Lambert, M., Harris, S.J. & Brown, V.K. (2007) The importance of sward architectural complexity in structuring predatory and phytophagous invertebrate assemblages. Ecological Entomology, 32, 302-311.

Westbury, D.B. & Dunnett, N.P. (2007) The impact of Rhinanthus minor in newly established meadows on a productive site. Applied Vegetation Science, 10 (1), 121- 129.

Edwards, A.R., Mortimer, S.R., Lawson, C.S., Westbury, D.B., Harris, S.J., Woodcock, B.A & Brown, V.K. (2007) Hay strewing, brush harvesting of seed and soil disturbance as tools for the enhancement of botanical diversity in grasslands. Biological Conservation, 134, 372-382.

Westbury, D.B., Davies, A, Woodcock, B.A. & Dunnett, N.P. (2006) Seeds of change: the value of using Rhinanthus minor in grassland restoration. Journal of Vegetation Science, 17, 435-446.

Woodcock, B. A., Westbury, D. B., Potts, S. G., Harris, S. J. & Brown, V. K. (2005) Establishing field margins to promote beetle conservation in arable farms. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 107, 255-266.

Westbury D.B. (2004) Rhinanthus minor L. Journal of Ecology, 92 (5), 906-927.

 

 

Conferences

Machaka-Houri, N., Houri, A., Westbury, D.B., and Ibrahim, M. (2018) Predicting the potential distribution of Orchis Galilaea in Lebanon using GIS. Proceedings of the 18th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference, SGEM 2018, Vienna, Austria, pp. 749-756.

Westbury, D.B., Harris, S.J., Brown, V.K.and Potts, S.G.(2018)The influence of seed mix and management on the performance and persistence of sown forbs in buffer strips.Aspects of Applied Biology: Ecosystem and Habitat Management: Research, Policy, Practice, 139. 23-31.

Mateos-Fierro, Z., Garratt, M., Fountain, M.T.Ashbrook, K. and Westbury, D.B. (2018)Wildflower strip establishment for the delivery of ecosystem services in sweet cherry orchards.Aspects of Applied Biology: Ecosystem and Habitat Management: Research, Policy, Practice, 139. 179-186.

Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A., Harris, S.J., Griffith, B. & Tallowin, J.R. (2011) Sustainable grassland management benefits butterflies. Aspects of Applied Biology, 108, 81-86.

Blake, R.J., Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A., Sutton, P., and Potts, S.G. (2011) Improving butterfly habitat in existing grass buffer strips. Aspects of Applied Biology, 108, 67-72.

Sparks, T., Britt, C. Cherrill, A., Marrs, R., Mortimer, S.R., Pywell, R.F., Rotheram, I., Stokes, V. & Westbury, D.B. (eds.) (2011) Vegetation Management. Aspects of Applied Biology, 108, 272 pp. Association of Applied Biologists, Warwick, UK.

Morris, A.J., Bailey, C.M., Dillon, I.A., Gruar, D.J. & Westbury, D.B. (2010) Improving floristically enhanced field margins for wildlife. Aspects of Applied Biology, 100, Agri-environment schemes - what have they achieved and where do we go from here? 353-357.

Blake, R.J., Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A, Sutton, B.A. & Potts, S.G. (2010) Enhancing biodiversity in existing grass buffer strips. Aspects of Applied Biology, 100, Agri-environment schemes - what have they achieved and where do we go from here? 427-432.

Westbury, D.B. & Dunnett, N.P. (2007) The creation of species-rich grassland on an urban substrate. Aspects of Applied Biology, 82, Vegetation management, 123-130.

Mortimer, S.R., Edwards, A.R., Lawson, C.S., Westbury, D.B., Woodcock, B.A, Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J., & Brown, V.K. (2007) Efficacy of methods for using seed of local provenance to enhance grassland diversity. Aspects of Applied Biology, 82, Vegetation management, 39-48.

Ramsay A.J., Potts S.G., Westbury D.B., Woodcock B.A., Tscheulin T.R., Harris S.J. & Brown V.K. (2007) Response of planthoppers to novel margin management in arable systems. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, Delivering arable biodiversity, 47-52.

Edwards, P., Westbury, D.B., Sutton, P. & Marshall, E.J.P. (2007) Principle considerations for arable field margin establishment and management. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, Delivering arable biodiversity, 199-205.

Henderson I.G., Morris A.J., Westbury D.B., Woodcock. B.A., Potts S.G., Ramsay, A.J. & Coombes. R. (2007) Effects of field margin management on bird distributions around cereal fields. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, Delivering arable biodiversity, 53-60.

Ogilvy, S.E., Clarke, J.H., Wiltshire, J.J.J., Harris, D., Morris, A., Jones, N., Smith, B., Henderson, I., Westbury, D.B., Potts, S.G., Woodcock, B.A. & Pywell, R.G. (2006) SAFFIE Report - research into research and practice. HGCA Conference, Arable crop protection in the balance: Profit and the environment.

Morgan, R., Westbury, D.B., Kliem, K.E., Hervas, G. & Mould, F.L. (2005) The degradation of Rhinanthus minor (yellow rattle) in vitro. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, p. 224. British Society of Animal Science, York, UK.

Mortimer, S.R., Westbury, D.B., Dodd, S., Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J., Kessock-Philip, R., Chaney, K., Lewis, P., Buckingham, D.L. & Peach, W.J. (2007) Cereal-based whole crop silages: potential biodiversity benefits of cereal production in pastoral landscapes. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, Delivering arable biodiversity, 77-86.

Westbury, D.B. & Dunnett, N.P. (2000) The effect of the presence of Rhinanthus minor on the composition and productivity of created swards on ex-arable land. Aspects of Applied Biology, 58, Vegetation management in changing landscapes, 271-278.

West, T.M., Marshall, E.J.P., Westbury, D.B. and Arnold, G.M. (1999) Vegetation development on sown and unsown field boundary strips established in three Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Aspects of Applied Biology, 54. Field Margins and Buffer Zones: ecology, management and policy, 257-262.

Book Chapters

Woodcock, B.A., Mortimer, S.R., Edwards, A.R., Lawson, C.S., Westbury, D.B., Brook, A.J., Harris, S.J. & Brown, V.K. (2009). Re-creating plant and beetle assemblages of species-rich chalk grasslands on ex-arable land. Grassland: Ecology, management and restoration (ed H.G. Schroder). Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York.

Reports

Potts, S. G., Westbury, D. B., Woodcock, B. A., Ramsay, A. J., Harris, S. J., Springate, S., Pywell, R., Meek, B., Carvell, C., Hulmes, L., Warman, L., Sparks, T., Cook, S. K. & Henderson, I. G. (2007) Experiment 2 Management of the non-cropped margin structure to maximise biodiversity. The SAFFIE Report.ADAS, Boxworth, UK.

Magazines

Westbury D.B. & Davies, A. (2005) Yellow rattle its natural history and use in grassland restoration. British Wildlife, 17 (2), 93-98.

Roles

Internal Roles 

Research Lead “Ecology and Environment Research Group”    

Member of the University's "Research Committee"    
Member of the University's "College Sub-committee" for Research          
Member of the University's "Strategic Biodiversity Management Group"

Member of the School of Science & the Environment's "Learning and Teaching Committee" 

REF 2021 - Co-ordinator for UoA 14 - Geography and Environmental Studies     
Deputy MPhil/PhD Course Leader for the School of Science & the Environment    

External Roles 

Editorial Board for 'Journal of Agriculture and Sustainability'  
External Examiner for Shuttleworth College (University of Bedfordshire) (2016-2020)
British Ecological Society - "Review College" panel for funding applications
Expert Wildlife Panel Member– Malvern Hills Trust

Previous Roles:

PhD External Examining

University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic (2018)    
University of Reading (2018)     
University of Southampton (2018)        
University of Wolverhampton (2017)

Undergraduate External Examining

University of Plymouth (Cornwall College) (2013-2017)     
Harper Adams University - Course Validation - External Academic Panel Member, July 2016