Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Dr Lindsay Banin
Research Associate – Terrestrial Ecology
School of Environmental Sciences
University of Ulster
Telephone: +44 (0) 2870 124086
Fax: +44 (0) 2870 124911
- 2010: PhD in Cross-continental comparisons of tropical forest structure and function, University of Leeds, UK with Simon Lewis and Oliver Phillips.
- 2004: MSc in Environmental Management, University of Nottingham, UK. Dissertation on Field and image-based mapping of seagrass communities, Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia with Stuart Phinn and Roy Haines-Young.
- 2003: BSc (Hons) in Geography, University of Nottingham, UK.
- 2011-present: Research Associate, University of Ulster, UK on INTERREG-funded CIRB (Controlling Priority Invasive Species and Restoring native Biodiversity) project.
- 2010-2011: Lecturer on Quantitative Methods for Environmental Managers, MSc course in Environmental Management, University of Nottingham, UK.
- 2010: Research Associate, University of Nottingham, UK.
- 2006-2010: Teaching Assistant on various subjects, including ecology, statistics, GIS and remote sensing.
- 2004-2005: Research Assistant, University of Nottingham, UK.
I am a plant and ecosystem ecologist, working on a range of scales and habitats. I research the structure, diversity, distribution and functioning of plant communities and their effects on ecosystem processes. I am also particularly interested in the impacts that human-induced environmental changes, such as habitat fragmentation, climate change, biogeochemical cycling, biotic introductions and loss of biodiversity, have on natural systems. Ultimately, this helps to inform management practices and has important implications for conservation. I use a variety of approaches and techniques in my research, from field sampling, monitoring and laboratory chemical analyses to statistical analyses, remote sensing and GIS.
Currently, I am working at the University of Ulster with Dario Fornara examining the effects of invasive species on ecosystem processes in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland as part of the CIRB (Controlling Priority Invasive Species and Restoring Native Biodiversity) project. Our team is working to ascertain how invasive plant species alter the environment they populate, and particularly in regard to plant-soil interactions.
Invasive species are those which become dominant and change the composition, structure and character of a community. Our project focuses on three problematic plant species which have become increasingly abundant along water courses in the UK and Ireland over the last century (Pyšek & Hulme, 2005): Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed), Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant hogweed) and Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam). Riparian habitats are particularly susceptible to plant invasion because they are frequently disturbed, resource-rich environments, often providing new environments for species to colonise, and streams and rivers provide conduits for seeds and vegetative material (Richardson et al. 2007). It is also important to understand impacts of plant communities on riparian corridors as this habitat is important for a range of taxa and provides a number of critical ecosystem services.
It has often been asserted that invasive plant species significantly reduce plant diversity, at least at small scales (Hejda et al. 2009; Powell et al. 2011). Less is known about whether this shift in community composition has a significant effect on the functioning of these ecosystems. We seek to understand whether and how invasive species alter critical ecosystem processes such as nutrient and carbon cycling through examination of pools and fluxes of carbon and nutrients, biomass allocation and plant traits, decomposition processes and microbial activity.
To learn more about this project, please visit the CIRB website.
- Hejda et al. (2009). Impact of invasive plants on the species richness, diversity and composition of invaded communities. Journal of Ecology 97, 393-403.
- Powell et al. (2011). A synthesis of plant invasion effects on biodiversity across spatial scales. American Journal of Botany 98(3), 539-548.
- Pyšek & Hulme (2005). Spatio-temporal dynamics of plant invasions: Linking pattern to process. Ecoscience 12(3): 302-315.
- Richardson et al. (2007). Riparian vegetation: degradation, alien plant invasions, and restoration prospects. Diversity and Distributions 13, 126-139.
External professional activities
- Committee member of the British Ecological Society Tropical Ecology special interest group
- Member of the British Ecological Society
- Invited speaker at the Highland Soil Biodiversity Festival 2012
- Co-organiser of Workshop on Spatial Analysis in Macroecology at
- International Biogeography Society 3rd Biennial Conference, Tenerife, January 2007
- Co-organiser of the first British Ecological Society Tropical Ecology Group early-career researchers meeting, Leeds, September 2007
- Reviewer for Global Change Biology and Journal of Ecology
- Banin L, Feldpausch TR, Phillips OL, Baker TR, Lloyd J, Affum-BaffoeK, Arets EJMM, Berry NJ, Bradford M, Breinen RJW, Davies S, Drescher M, Higuchi N, Hilbert N, Hladik A, Iida Y, Abu Silam K, Kassim AR, King DA, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Metcalfe D, Nilus R, Peh KS-H, Reitsma JM, Sonké B, Taedoumg H, Tan S, White L, Wöll H and Lewis SL. (in press) What controls tropical forest architecture? Testing environmental, structural and floristic drivers. Global Ecology and Biogeography.
- Morel CA, Saatchi SS, Malhi Y, Berry NJ, Banin L, Burslem D, Nilus R, Ong RC. (2011) Estimating aboveground biomass in forest and oil palm plantation in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo using ALOS PALSAR data. Forest Ecology and Management 262: 1786-1798.
- Feldpausch TR, Banin L, Phillips OL, Baker TR, Lewis SL, Quesada QA, Affum-Baffoe K, Arets EJMM, Berry NJ, Bird M, Brondizio ES, de Camargo P, Chave J, Djagbletey G, Domingues TF, Drescher M, Fearnside PM, Franca MB, Fyllas NM, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Hladik A, Higuchi N, Hunter MO, Iida Y, Salim KA, Kassim AR, Keller M, Kemp J, King DA, Lovett JC, Marimon BS, Marimon-Junior BH, Lenza E, Marshall AR, Metcalfe DJ, Mitchard ETA, Moran EF, Nelson BW, Nilus R, Noguiera EM, Palace M, Patiño S, Peh KS-H, Raventos MT, Reitsma JM, Saiz G, Schrodt F, Sonké B, Taedoumg H, Tan S, White L, Wöll H and Lloyd J. (2011) Height-diameter allometry of tropical forest trees. Biogeosciences 8: 1081-1106.
- Banin, L. (2006). Special review – fruits for the future: a collaborative initiative. Journal of Biogeography 33: 379-379.
- Banin, L. (2006). Encapsulating the spice of life. Diversity and Distributions 12: 220-221.
- Banin, L. (2006). The phytogeography of West Africa. Journal of Biogeography 33: 1150.
- Banin, L. (2005). Review of ‘Spotlight Article’ Hawkins et al. 2005, J of Biogeography 32: 1035-1042 for International Biogeography Society Newsletter, Summer 2005.
Selected conference presentations
- Banin, L., Fornara, D., Fitos, E., and Cenini, V. (2012). Invasive Plant Species: impacts on ecosystem processes in riparian habitats in the UK. Invited talk at Manchester Metropolitan University Seminar Series, Manchester, UK, March 2012.
- Banin, L., Fornara, D., Fitos, E., and Cenini, V. (2011). Invasive Plant Species: impacts on ecosystem processes in riparian habitats in the UK. Invited talk at RAFTS-SNH Invasive Species and Biosecurity Conference, Perth, UK, October 2011.
- Banin, L., Lewis, S.L., Phillips, O. et al. (2011). Pan-tropical patterns in forest structure and biomass. British Ecological Society, Sheffield, UK, September 2011.
- Banin, L., Lewis, S.L., Phillips, O., Davies, S., Tan, S., Chong, L., Nilus, R., Burslem, D., Kamariah, A.S., Lim, S. (2010). Tree growth and wood production: a comparison of Bornean and Amazonian forests. British Ecological Society, Leeds, UK, September 2010.
- Banin, L. (2009). Oral presentation entitled ‘Tropical Forests: Present and Future’, given at the Geographical Association Teachers’ Workshop - workshop designed to facilitate dissemination of university research into secondary school teaching.
- Banin, L., Lewis, S.L., Phillips, O., Davies, S., Tan, S. and Burslem, D. (2008). Above-ground wood production in tropical forests of north Borneo. Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Asian Chapter, Kuching, Sarawak, April 2008.
- Banin, L., Phinn, S. and Roelfsema, C. (2005). Field and image mapping of seagrass distribution on Eastern Banks, Moreton Bay, Australia. Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society Annual Meeting, Portsmouth, UK, September 2005.