Helen Roy is a community ecologist with a particular focus on the effects of alien species on insect communities.
As the Head of Zoology within the Biological Records Centre (part of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology), Helen has the privilege of working with volunteers with expertise in recording wildlife to compile long-term and large-scale datasets on terrestrial and freshwater species. Helen’s work focuses on the collaborative use of these large-scale and long-term datasets to understand and predict the effects of environmental change on biodiversity. The current focus of her research is predicting the biological impact of invasive alien species. Helen has a passion for natural history and science communication, and has contributed to the media throughout her career. Helen also has extensive expertise in citizen science and coordinates the UK Ladybird Survey, which has more than 18,000 participants, but has also developed a number of other citizen science initiatives including the Big Bumblebee Discovery, involving more than 400 schools. She recently published a guide to citizen science which has been widely adopted. Three years ago Helen was awarded the Zoological Society of London prestigious Silver Medal in recognition of her contribution to understanding and appreciation of zoology.
Engaging people in recording wildlife
For centuries people have made simple observations of wildlife – what they saw and where and when they saw it. Within the UK there are more than 100 million such biological records available to address questions relevant to research, conservation and policy. Helen will celebrate the inspiring enthusiasm and dedication of people within the world of biological recording and the contributions they make to our understanding of the natural world.