School of Earth and Environment

Dr Mark Goddard

Research Fellow in Urban Ecology

Email address:
Room: FH G.12

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


Mark is an ecologist who has been working on biodiversity conservation in urban environments for the past 15 years. He gained experience of working in a number of sectors, including NGOs and ecological consultancy, before moving into academia in 2007 to begin his PhD at the University of Leeds on the socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity in private gardens. In 2011, Mark began his research career on the Urban Pollinators Project, a UK-wide collaborative project investigating the ecology and conservation of insect pollinators in cities. He moved to Newcastle University in 2014 to work on the SUCCESS project, exploring the potential for urban and engineered soils to capture carbon and provide other ecosystem services. In 2018 he returned to Leeds as a Research Fellow in Urban Ecology on the Self-Repairing Cities project where he is researching the impact of automating cities with robots on urban biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function.


PhD (University of Leeds, 2012: ‘The socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity in residential landscapes at multiple spatial scales: an interdisciplinary approach’)

MRes Ecology & Environmental Management (University of York, 2003)

BSc (Hons) Zoology (University of Nottingham, 2001)


Member, British Ecological Society

Associate Member, Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (ACIEEM)

Research Interests

Mark's research focuses on biodiversity conservation and the provision of ecosystem services in human-modified landscapes, in particular urban environments. He is currently working as a Research Fellow in Urban Ecology on the Self-Repairing Cities project (, researching the impact of automating cities with robots on urban biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function.

Mark has worked on a number of large research projects, including SUCCESS (Sustainable Urban Carbon Capture: Engineering Soils for Climate Change) funded by EPSRC at Newcastle University. Mark's role on this multidisciplinary project was to examine the plant and pollinator ecology of urban land designed to have a carbon capture function, and to explore the trade-offs and synergies between carbon capture and other urban ecosystem services. Before that, Mark was in the School of Biology at the University of Leeds, working on the ‘Urban Pollinators: their Ecology and Conservation’ project (, funded by the Insect Pollinators Initiative (NERC, BBSRC, Defra, Scottish Government and The Wellcome Trust). The project studied pollinators in replicate cities, farms and nature reserves UK-wide, sampled 700 sites in four cities to assess the suitability of different urban habitats for pollinators and planted 60 flower meadows to examine their benefit to pollinators.

In 2012, Mark completed his interdisciplinary PhD at Leeds on the ecological and social drivers of bird and bee diversity in residential landscapes. This work has led to an interest in how we can incentivise householders, communities and local authorities to manage cities more sympathetically for wildlife. This involves an understanding of how socio-economic factors and human decision-making influence the management of private gardens and other green spaces at multiple scales in urban ecosystems.

Collaborative research projects

Mark is actively collaborating with overseas researchers on a number of international urban biodiversity projects, including:

  • NCEAS Working Group (University of California, Santa Barbara) that has compiled the largest database to date of the flora and avifauna of cities around the world. 'Comparative Ecology of Cities: What Makes an Urban Biota "Urban"?' (
  • SESYNC project (University of Maryland/SDiv Leipzig,Germany) on planning and policy approaches to managing urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. 'Ecological and Social Linkages among Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Environmental Policy and Management in the World’s Cities (
  • US National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Coordination Network grant to build a global network called UrBioNet to support urban biodiversity research, monitoring and practice. 'UrBioNet: A Global Network for Urban Biodiversity Research and Practice' (