Professor David Edwards

Image of Dr David EdwardsTel: +44 (0)114 222 0147


Room E210, Alfred Denny Building

Group website:


Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science, University of Sheffield (2016-present)
Lecturer in Conservation Science, University of Sheffield (2013-16)
ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, James Cook University (2011-13)
STEP Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University (2010-11)
Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Leeds (2007-10)
PhD University of East Anglia (2005)
BSc University of East Anglia (2000)

Key Research Interests

David Edwards research image

My research focuses on understanding the impacts of land-use change on tropical biodiversity. I am particularly interested in understanding the most effective ways of managing tropical landscapes for biodiversity protection and the mechanisms that can be used to fund protection, although I have a range of interests, including;

  • Impacts of logging management on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
  • Tropical agriculture and sustainability.
  • The interaction between climate change and land-use change on extinction risk.
  • Cost-effective conservation within the tropics.
  • Policy drivers of tropical forest protection, including REDD+ and sustainability labeling.
  • Mechanisms of maintenance in mutualism.

Current Research Group

PhD Students

Ileana Acosta
Land-sharing versus land-sparing logging in the Brazilian Amazon (CONACYT)

Joli Borah
Cost-effectively enhancing carbon and biodiversity in shifting cultivation under REDD+ (Sheffield, Vice Chancellor's Indian Scholarship)

Cindy Cosset
Impacts of selective logging on mass-abundance scaling

Pamela González del Pliego Castañeda
Interaction of agriculture and chytrid fungus in Tropical Andean amphibians (CONACYT)

Matthew Hethcoat
Measuring tropical forest degradation and its consequences using satellite data (Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, co-supervised with S. Quegan)

Emma Hughes
Global change and the future of avian diversity (NERC, co-supervised with G. Thomas)

Felix Lim
Preventing perverse market outcomes from high-yielding tropical crops (Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures)

Manoela Machado
Managing selective logging to minimize the risk of Amazonian wildfire (Ciencias sem Fronteiras)

Nazrin Malik
Impacts of liberation cutting of climbers on carbon stocks and biodiversity (Malaysia, co-supervised with R. Freckleton)

Michael Massam
Planning Amazonian logging to maximize biodiversity retention (NERC)

Simone Messina
How does selective logging affect avian physiology? (Belgium, co-supervised with D. Costantini, University of Antwerp)

Simon Mitchell
The value of riparian strips for birds and bats (DICE, co-supervised with M. Struebig, University of Kent)

Rebecca Senior

Impacts of selective logging on climate microrefugia (NERC)

Eleanor Warren-Thomas
Habitat loss, economics and biodiversity protection in the Indochina biodiversity hotspot (NERC, co-supervised with P. Dolman, University of East Anglia)

MRes/MBiolSci Students

Patrick Cannon
Does land sharing or land sparing farming best protect ants in the Tropical Andes?

Katie Cook
Spatial prioritization of Amazonian protection from selective logging

Beth King
Impact of secondary forest recovery on ants in the Tropical Andes

Carlos Chan Miranda
Impact of secondary forest recovery on trees in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Research Assistant

Sebastian Bekker
Quantifying the externalities of rubber

Key recent publications

Socolar, S.J., Gilroy, J.J., Kunin, W.E. & Edwards, D.P. (2016) How should beta-diversity inform biodiversity conservation? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 31: 67-80

Edwards, D.P., Gilroy, J.J., Thomas, G.H., Medina, C.A. & Haugaasen, T. (2015) Land-sparing agriculture best protects avian phylogenetic diversity. Current Biology 25: 2384-2391

Gilroy, J.J., Prescott G.W., Cardenas, J.S., Castaneda, P., Medina, C.A., Haugaasen, T. & Edwards, D.P. (2015) Minimizing the biodiversity impact of Neotropical oil palm development. Global Change Biology 21: 1531-1540

Lewis, S.L., Edwards, D.P. & Galbraith, D. (2015) Increasing human dominance of tropical forests. Science 349: 827-832

Magnago, L., Magrach, A., Laurance, W.F., Martins, S.V., Meira-Neto, J.A., Simonelli, M. & Edwards, D.P. (2015) Would protecting tropical forest fragments provide carbon and biodiversity co-benefits under REDD+? Global Change Biology 9: 3455-3468

Warren-Thomas, E., Dolman, P.M. & Edwards, D.P. (2015) Increasing demand for natural rubber necessitates a robust sustainability initiative to mitigate impacts on tropical biodiversity. Conservation Letters 8:230-241

Edwards, D.P., Gilroy, J.J., Woodcock, P., Edwards, F.A., Larsen, T.H., Andrews, D.J.R., Docherty, T.D.S., Hsu, W.W., Mitchell, S.L., Ota, T., Williams, L., Laurance, W.F., Hamer, K.C. & Wilcove, D.S. (2014) Land-sharing versus land-sparing logging: Reconciling timber extraction with biodiversity conservation. Global Change Biology 20: 183-191

Edwards, D.P., Tobias, J., Sheil, D., Meijaard, E. & Laurance, W.F. (2014) Maintaining ecosystem function and services in logged tropical forests. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 29: 511-520

Gilroy, J.J., Woodcock, P., Edwards, F.A., Wheeler, C.E., Baptiste, B.L.G., Medina, C.A., Haugaasen, T. & Edwards, D.P. (2014) Cheap carbon and biodiversity co-benefits from forest regeneration in a hotspot of endemism. Nature Climate Change 4: 503-507

Edwards, D.P., Larsen, T.H., Docherty, T.D.S., Ansell, F.A., Hsu, W.W., Derhé, M.A., Hamer, K.C. & Wilcove, D.S. (2011) Degraded lands worth protecting: the biological importance of  Southeast Asia's repeatedly logged forests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 82-90

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