Panda consortium logos Pandas Chinese landscape with lake and mountains Panda climbing a tree


Antje Ahrends

Head of Genetics and Conservation, RBGE

Antje is the Head of Genetics and Conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Her work focuses on the use modelling approaches combined with GIS, remote sensing and large scale biodiversity data to study the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in focal systems. This is to (a) enhance the understanding of the drivers of biodiversity patterns, (b) make predictions on the impacts of future environmental change, and (c) evaluate conservation options for mitigating these impacts. Geographically, her work focusses on China, South East Asia, East Africa, and the United Kingdom. Prior to her current role she has worked for several years in sustainable development and conservation projects with different NGOs in Kenya and Tanzania. She aims to link her research with tangible outcomes for biodiversity conservation.

Chloe Bellamy

Spatial Scientist, Forest Research

Chloe specialises in spatial ecology. Her research focusses on developing models and spatial indicators of woodland biodiversity and ecosystem services. She completed her PhD on habitat suitability modelling for UK bat species at the University of Leeds in 2011 and is now a Spatial Scientist for the Land Use and Ecosystem Services Science Group at Forest Research.

At the Giant Panda Research Symposium in Duijangyan (April 2015), Chloe presented some of the Forest Research spatial indicators and GIS tools that could be used to support best management practices and landscape restoration in Wolong. She is currently co-supervising two Edinburgh University MSc students who are carrying out projects on modelling panda habitat and reserve design.

Calum Brown

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Edinburgh

Calum is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh, where he works on the causes and effects of land use change, including climatic, demographic, political and environmental interactions. His background is in forest ecology and he has general interests in human-environment interactions and environmental restoration in temperate and sub-tropical regions. His research uses modelling techniques and spatial statistical analyses to investigate the dynamics of ecological and socio-ecological systems, and he is applying these to explore options for giant panda habitat restoration and their consequences for local communities and livelihoods. 

Pete Hollingsworth

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Professor Pete Hollingsworth is Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Kunming Institute of Botany. His research focuses on understanding and conserving plant biodiversity. In recent years he has contributed to the international efforts of building a unified DNA based-index of life on earth, including Chairing the Scientific Steering Committee of the International Barcode of Life Project. He has a strong interest in linking scientific research to practical conservation outcomes, and has recently been involved in co-authoring the new International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s guidelines on conservation translocations. 

Mariella Marzano

Senior Social Researcher, Forest Research

Mariella has a history of working in sustainable natural resource management across agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors in the UK and internationally. She has Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, which explored rural development and natural resource management issues in Sri Lanka. Mariella is currently Senior Project Leader within FR’s Social and Economic Research Group providing social science input and leading interdisciplinary research on topics such as tree and plant biosecurity, adaptive forest management, human-wildlife interactions and risk communication.

Mariella attended the Giant Panda Research Symposium in Duijangyan (April 2015) and talked about some of the issues involved in the human dimensions of species management including issues including balancing conservation and local livelihoods, managing human-wildlife conflicts, recreational disturbance and opportunities for collaborative management.

Marc Metzger

University of Edinburgh

Marc is a Senior Lecturer in Environment and Society within the Research Institute of Geography and the Lived Environment. He joined Edinburgh University in 2007 as a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Change Modelling. Before he was a lecturer in Environmental Assessment at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He studied ecosystem biology between 1995 and 2000, and undertook his PhD in European vulnerability to global change impacts on ecosystem services from 2001-2005, also at Wageningen University. Over the past 10 years Marc has worked in a wide range of interdisciplinary projects focusing on the potential impacts of global environmental change on ecosystems and the services they provide to society.

Linda Neaves

Postdoctoral researcher, RGBE

Linda is a joint postdoctoral researcher currently using genomic methods to investigate the details giant panda diet in the wild, and how this, combined with improved DNA-based identification of bamboo species may alter concepts about suitable panda habitat and be used to improve habitat restoration and conservation.  Her background is in population genetics of mammals and she is interested in the application of genomic tools to inform wildlife conservation and management, including population genetics, hybridisation, species identification and evolution. She is based at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and also works at the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics, Australian Museum Research Institute. 

Jacqueline Rosette

Royal Society University Research Fellow, Swansea University

Dr Jacqueline Rosette is a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Swansea University, UK, with 11 years’ experience in forest remote sensing research.  She was based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center during 2011-2012 where she was employed on NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System initiative, using techniques combining lidar, field data and Landsat disturbance products to estimate vegetation carbon distribution at an operationally-relevant scale. She was also a visiting scientist at NASA Goddard during April-June 2010 using radiative transfer modelling with the FLIGHT model to investigate implications of the design of a proposed satellite lidar mission for vegetation applications. Dr Rosette’s primary research interest is the use of remote sensing for forest biophysical parameter estimation, particularly to complement and enhance forest inventory, monitoring and assessment, and to offer observational inputs to forestry models.

Juan Suárez-Miguez

Remote Sensing Application programme leader, Forest Research

Juan Suárez is a remote sensing scientist and the Project Leader of the Remote Sensing Applications programme in Forest Research.  He has developed expertise in operational tools for forest management, LiDAR, Digital Aerial Photography, Hyperspectral sensors, Thermal imagery, Satellite Optical systems, GIS, abiotic hazards in forestry, forest modelling, monitoring forest health and forest condition. He has been working at Forest Research for 21 years in different international and national research projects

Iain Valentine

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Iain is Director of the Giant Panda Programme and Senior Policy Advisor for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, based at Edinburgh Zoo. Before taking on this role Iain was responsible for the animal collections, animal welfare, management, enrichment & presentation activities, at both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, all of the educational and ex situ and in situ research & conservation projects work and staff within RZSS.

Iain initiated the Giant Panda project at RZSS in 2006 and has given numerous talks and interviews about Pandas/China and his experiences. The Giant Panda Programme is a key programme of RZSS and involves numerous researchers and projects based both here in the UK and abroad.

He is a Chartered Biologist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.