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Ecology and Conservation

Dr Julian Donald

Dr Julian Donald

Research Fellow

 Daphne du Maurier 3052


Daphne du Maurier Building, University of Exeter,  Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


Understanding the mechanisms driving existing soil biota community diversity and function across disparate climates and ecological communities is key in order to determine future ecosystem responses to global change. My research aims to address this, by using field-based sampling of invertebrate and microbial communities, coupled with eDNA metabarcoding techniques as a means to reveal patterns in biodiversity assemblages across a broad range of habitats.  

In my current role as a Marie Sklodowska Curie Research Fellow in the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, I will be working with Regan Early to aquire Species Distribution Modelling techniques. In doing so, I aim to determine association patterns within soil microbial communities and use this to improve our understanding of the effects of global change on their functioning. 


2018 PhD Tropical Soil Ecology, University of the West of England, Bristol

2013 MSc Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology, Muséum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris

2010 BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Southampton


2021 – 2023 Marie Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow – University of Exeter (Penryn, Cornwall) Research Topic: "How do biotic and environmental variation affect soil microbial community composition and functioning across spatial scales?" Fellowship Supervisor: Dr Regan Early

2018 – 2021 Post-doctoral researcher – Université Paul Sabatier – Toulouse 3 (Toulouse, France) Research Topic: “Exploring patterns in community turnover in tropical forest habitats” Postdoc Supervisor: Dr Jerome Chave

2014 – 2018 PhD Student – University of the West of England (Bristol, UK). Research topic: “Biodiversity and ecosystem function in the bird’s nest fern” PhD Supervisor: Dr Farnon Ellwood

2013 – 2014 Research Technician – CNRS ECOFOG (Kourou, French Guiana). Research topic: “Ant diversity in rainforest habitats” Supervisor: Dr Jerome Orivel


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