Dr Jeremy Lindsell

Director of Science and Conservation

See Dr Jeremy Lindsell’s professional output

Jeremy Lindsell is a conservation scientist who has been working on globally threatened species and tropical forest conservation for the last 15 years. He is supporting the existing science programmes of A Rocha International as well as developing new areas of research. Jeremy’s past experience has included the conservation of long distance migrants, understanding the biodiversity importance of protected, unprotected and degraded tropical forests, and accounting for the distribution of tropical forest biomass. He has worked in a number of countries in West and East Africa, the Middle East and in Southeast Asia, including a period living in Uganda. He holds a degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Zoology (Ornithology) from the University of Oxford. He is currently based in Cambridge.

What’s your main focus of work?

I’m responsible for our Tropical Forest Programme, which is mainly centred on Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya and India. It requires habitat monitoring in both protected and unprotected areas, so I can be directly involved in such things as training others in specialist techniques for the fieldwork, or helping to analyse data afterwards.

Tell us about one of your new research projects

It’s difficult to efficiently survey the condition of extensive tropical forests using traditional methods, but I love finding inexpensive ways to exploit new technologies. As part of a two-year programme in partnership with RSPB and the University of Cambridge, we’re using unmanned aerial vehicles to acquire high-quality imagery. We’ll then be able to assess the forest’s condition, as well as the potential for natural regeneration and conservation management.

What do you enjoy most?

Visiting project sites. In Kenya, arriving at the Kirosa Scott Reserve which A Rocha has established (to protect dry coastal woodland from clearance for pineapple plantations) was unforgettable. We drove for a long time through farmland and fragmented woodland in quite a remote area, and then suddenly we were at the reserve, which is pretty much intact.

You’re an ornithologist. Can you still find time for birds?

I’m fortunate to live beside one of the largest fenland restoration projects in the UK, so I can hear booming Bitterns Botaurus stellaris from my garden – and my garden bird list has reached 116. I’ve also got interested in moths, so I run a light trap.

I couldn’t do my job without…

Free software and free satellite imagery.

Professional output

Current projects

map_wideMapping tropical forests


Selected publications

Swinfield, T., Lindsell, J.A., Williams, J.V., Harrison, R.D., Agustiono, Habibi, Gemita, E., Schönlieb, C.B. & Coomes, D.A. Accurate measurement of tropical forest canopy heights and aboveground carbon using structure from motion. Remote Sensing 11, 928, 1-16 PDF

Lee, D.C., Powell, V.J. & Lindsell, J.A. (2019) Understanding landscape and plot-scale habitat utilisation by Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) in degraded lowland forest. Acta Oecologica 96: 1–9 LINK

Lindsell, J.A., Agyei, R., Bosu, D., Decher, J., Hawthorne, W., Marshall, C., Ofori-Boateng, C., & Rödel, M.-O. (2019) The Biodiversity of Atewa Forest. A Rocha Ghana, Accra, Ghana PDF

Slik, F. et al. (2018). A phylogenetic classification of the world’s tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115: 1837–1842.

Jones, S., Burgess, M.D., Sinclair, F., Lindsell, J., & Vickery, J. (2017) Optimal monitoring strategy to detect rule-breaking: a power and simulation approach parameterised with field data from Gola Rainforest National Park, Sierra Leone. Conservation & Society 15: 92–103. PDF

Burgess, M., Hillers, A., Bannah, D., Mohamed, S., Swaray, M., Turay, B.S., Vickery, J. & Lindsell, J. (2016) The importance of protected and unprotected areas for colony occupancy and colony size in White-necked Picathartes Picathartes gymnocephalus in and around Gola Rainforest National Park, Sierra Leone. Bird Conservation International 27: 244–255. LINK

Hillers, A., Buchanan, G.M., Garteh, J.C., Tommy, S.M., Fofana, M.L. & Lindsell, J.A. (2016) A mix of community-based conservation and protected forests is needed for the survival of the Endangered pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis. Oryx, 1–10 DOI: 10.1017/S003060531600020X. PDF

Jucker, T., Cuni Sanchez, A., Lindsell, J.A., Allen, H.D., Amable, G.S., Vickery, J. & Coomes, D.A. (2016) Drivers of aboveground wood production in a lowland tropical forest of West Africa: teasing apart the roles of tree density, tree diversity, soil phosphorus and historical logging. Ecology & Evolution DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2175. PDF

Avitabile V., Herold M., Heuvelink G.B.M., et al. (2015) An integrated pan-tropical biomass map using multiple reference datasets. Global Change Biology DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13139

Kent, R., Lindsell, J.A., Laurin, G.V., Valentini, R. & Coomes, D.A. (2015) Airborne LiDAR detects selectively logged tropical forest even in an advanced stage of recovery. Remote Sensing 7 (7), 8348-8367. PDF

Slik, J.W.F., Arroyo-rodríguez, V., Aiba, S., et al. (2015) An estimate of the number of tropical tree species. PNAS, 1–6. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1423147112. PDF

Lindsell, J.A., Lee, D.C., Powell, V.J. & Gemita, E. (2015). Availability of large seed-dispersers for restoration of degraded tropical forest. Tropical Conservation Science 8 (1), 17-27. PDF

Lee, D.C, Powell, V.J., Lindsell, J. (2015). Resilience of Agile Gibbon Hylobates agilis to Habitat Degradation: Prospects for Tropical Forest Restoration. American Journal of Primatology, 77(1), 76-85. PDF

Laurin, G.V., Chen, Q., Lindsell, J., Coomes, D., Del Frate, F., Guerriero, L., Pirotti, F. and Valentini, R. (2015). Above ground biomass estimation in an African tropical forest with lidar and hyperspectral data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 89, 49–58.

Serra, G., Lindsell, J.A., Peske, L., Fritz, J., Bowden, C.G.R., Bruschini, C., Welch, G., Tavares, J. & Wondafrash, M. (2014). Accounting for the low survival of the Critically Endangered northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita on a major migratory flyway. Oryx 49 (2)  312-320. PDF

Lindsell, J.A., & Klop, E. (2013). Spatial and temporal variation of carbon stocks in a lowland tropical forest in West Africa. Forest Ecology and Management 289, 10-17. PDF

Junker, J. et al. (2012). Recent decline in suitable environmental conditions for African great apes. Diversity and Distributions, 18 (11) 1077–1091. PDF

Laurance, W.F., et al. (2012) Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature, 489, 290–294. PDF

Monticelli, D., Siaka, A., Buchanan, G.M., Wotton, S., Morris, T., Wardill, J.C. and Lindsell, J.A. (2012). Long term stability of White-necked Picathartes population in south-east Sierra Leone. Bird Conservation International 22(2): 170-183. PDF

Lindsell, J.A., Shehab, A.H. and Anderson, G.Q.A. (2011). Patchiness in prey levels increases vulnerability of Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibises Geronticus eremita on their Syrian breeding grounds. Bird Conservation International 21: 274-283. PDF

Lindsell J. A., Klop E. & Siaka A. (2011) The impact of civil war on forest wildlife in West Africa: mammals in Gola Forest, Sierra Leone. Oryx 45, 69-77. PDF

Oppel, S., Pain, D.J., Lindsell, J.A.,  Lachmann, L.,  Diop, I.,  Tegetmeyer, C., Donald, P.F., Anderson, G., Bowden, C.G.R.,  Tanneberger, F. & Flade, M. (2011) High variation reduces the value of feather stable isotope ratios in identifying new wintering areas for aquatic warblers Acrocephalus paludicola in West Africa. Journal of Avian Biology 42: 342-354.

Lindsell, J.A., Serra, G., Peške, L., Abdullah, M.S., al Qaim, G., Kanani, A. and Wondafrash, M. 2009. Satellite tracking reveals the migration route and wintering area of the Middle Eastern population of Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita. Oryx, 43, 329 – 335PDF

Lindsell, J.A. 2007. The status of Chattering Cisticola Cisticola anonymus in Upper Guinea. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 127(2), 129-135.

Hewson, C.M., Amar, A., Lindsell, J.A., Thewlis, R.M., Butler, S., Smith, K. and Fuller, R.J. 2007. Recent changes in bird populations in British broadleaved woodland. Ibis 149 (suppl. 2), 14-28.2006.

Lindsell, J.A. 2002. The first nest and egg records of Black-eared Ground Thrush Zoothera cameronensis, Budongo Forest, western Uganda. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 122(3), 196-201.

Lindsell, J.A. 2001. The ranging behaviour of a tropical forest terrestrial insectivore: the Scaly–breasted Illadopsis. Ostrich Supplement 15, 92-97.


Collaborators and funders

cambridge university logoUniversity of Cambridge

rspb logoThe Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

harapan logoHarapan Rainforest

CCICambridge Conservation Initiative

CCFCambridge Conservation Forum

IUCNNetherlandsIUCN Netherlands

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