Ross Cameron

Dr Ross Cameron BSc. PhD.

Senior Lecturer Landscape Management, Ecology & Design

Telephone: 0114 222 0614
Room 12.6, The Arts Tower

Research Cluster: Designed Ecology




I am interested in identifying plant species robust enough to tolerate urban conditions, whilst meeting performance specifications. My studies include investigations into Mediterranean species that tolerate winter flooding, and how warmer autumns affect development of young ornamental trees.

Dr Ross Cameron


I am a landscape horticulturalist specializing in the use and value of landscape plants. My current research interests centre around green infrastructure and climate change mitigation, with a strong emphasis on providing recommendations on plant species choice with respect to eco-system function (city cooling, thermal insulation, flood tolerance, biodiversity enhancement, etc.). This includes currently supervising PhD projects on improving the thermal performance of buildings through appropriate plant selection e.g. on both green walls and green roofs.
I am also interested in identifying those plant species robust enough to tolerate urban conditions (both current and future), whilst meeting their specifications for performance. Recent studies include investigations into Mediterranean species that tolerate winter flooding, and how warmer autumns affect development of young ornamental trees.

Teaching responsibilities

LSC 235 Landscape Ecology - Habitat Survey Techniques
LSC 335 Landscape Ecology - Habitat Creation and Restoration
LSC 5210 Habitat Management
LSC 6008 Greenspace Maintenance
LSC 6023 Research Methods in Landscape
LSC 6024 Contemporary Issues in Landscape Research
LSC 6150 Appreciation of Landscape


Research Areas

Developing more sustainable landscape management techniques is a key driver in much of my research, and I have been involved in a number of projects investigating more efficient use of resources (water, organic waste streams as soil amendments, alternative growing media and energy). I led a DEFRA LINK project - Efficient use of water in horticulture which proposed a 2/3 reduction in water use during the production of ornamental plants. This project involved 14 partner organizations and was rated 9/10 by DEFRA – one of the highest ranking scores at the time. I have also more recently conducted projects evaluating the use of grey water for landscape applications. I work closely with industry partners, for example the Horticultural Trades Association on the ‘carbon footprint’ of plant production and maintenance; and the Royal Horticultural Society on maximizing invertebrate biodiversity through appropriate use of garden ornamentals.

As a landscape horticulturalist, I also am very keen to understand more about how people relate to the landscape and what sorts of plant-based designs provide strong resonance with the public and why? I am particularly interested the relationship between plants, ‘naturalistic’ landscapes and human well-being. As such I have worked on a number of consultations with stakeholders in this field, including MIND, the horticultural therapy charity THRIVE, The Royal Neurological Hospital and the Landscape Institute.

Funded Research Projects

2011 National Horticultural Fellowship (HDC/EMT/ HTA) – Nutrient management in ornamentals
2011 Establishment and management of Malaysian landscape ornamentals (Malaysian Gov.)
2010 Evaluating the potential of the non-grass lawn (various sponsors)
2010 Green roof plant species for the Mediterranean climate (Portuguese Gov.)
2010 RHS KTP – Plants for BUGS
2008 HTA Investigating the environmental impacts of gardening in the UK
2007 HDC Optimising leaf defoliation in young trees
2007 Grantscape- Market development for lower grade composts
2006 HDC Bedding plants – benchmarking current transport
2006 RHS Waterlogging intolerance and its remediation in Mediterranean plants
2004-2011 RHS Physiological development in garden plants.
2003-2011 HTA Reviews for ‘Plant for life’
2002 DEFRA Conventional and biotechnological genetic improvement of hardy nursery stock
2002 DEFRA To identify and overcome constraints to the efficient and consistent production of HNS in the UK.
2002 EU Framework Programme V. Improving Fraxinus (Ash) productivity for European needs by testing, selection, propagation and promotion of improved genetic resources.
2002 DEFRA Hortlink Improving the control and efficiency of water use in container-grown hardy ornamental nursery stock.

Areas of Potential Research Degree Supervision

Landscape plants and ecosystem services
Plant adaptation to stress
Habitat Management
Plant-people relationships

green wall Greening the grey to beat the blues flooding


Academic Member of the Landscape Institute (Royal Chartered Body for Landscape Architects in the United Kingdom).
Invited scientific ‘advisor’ to:
-The Agriculture and Horticultural Development Council. (Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture Panel)
-The Royal Horticultural Society.
-The ‘Plant for Life’ and ‘Greening the UK’ initiatives.
-Thrive (UK’s largest Horticultural Therapy Charity). 2003-2011

Academic Responsibilities

Director of Research
Director – Centre for Urban Biodiversity, University of Reading - 2008 onwards
Director – Student Career Development
Deputy Director – Centre for Horticulture and Landscape - 2002 onwards
Admission Tutor - B.Sc. Biological Sciences 2006-2010
External Examiner – University of Greenwich 2008-

Extra Mural and Professional Activities

My professional activities are focused around climate change adaptation and more efficient use of resources, with advice being sought by Government and Industry. For example, my work with the ‘Greening the UK’ initiative has informed DEFRA’s latest white paper and policy formation in general. In addition, I have had direct engagement with 3 different UK Secretaries of State in the last 2 years and 4 invitations to attend parliamentary committees.
My contribution to impact extends to numerous media appearances and broadcasts, including national radio and television. I have also won a number of awards for my teaching and contributions to enhancing student employability.

Selected publications

View full publications list


  • Cameron R & Hitchmough J (2016) Environmental Horticulture: Science and Management of Green Landscapes. Croydon: Cabi. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles