Debbie Alston

Debbie Alston 150x200

Position: Lecturer in Biodiversity

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Biosciences

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I am a part-time lecturer on the undergraduate Biology, Zoology, Geography and Joint Honours programmes and the MSc Conservation Biology and MSc Environmental Assessment and Control programmes.  

I have worked in ecology and conservation management for more than 20 years and where appropriate bring that knowledge and those contacts into my teaching.

Teaching responsibilities

I am the module leader for the following modules:

  • Vocational Module (Autumn and Spring)  - 6BY507
  • Ecological Consultancy - 6BY513
  • Practical Training-Based Placement Module - 7BY505

 I teach on the following modules: Evolution of Life, Ecology, Global Environmental Issues, Research Methods, Vertebrate Biology, Field Biology, Habitat Management, Ecological Consultancy, Vocational Module, Environmental Management, Ecological Consultancy, Identification for Conservation Biology, Ecological Surveying, Conservation Biology in Principle and Practice, Practical Training - Based Placement Module.

I also supervise both undergraduate and post graduate dissertations.

Professional interests

With my industrial background, I am keen to build links with conservation and ecological organisations for both research and student employablity.  

Research interests

My research areas are many and varied, which reflect my career and external interests. My current research interest include:

  • Using the University's estate to monitor biodiversity
  • Species abundance and diversity of small mammals when comparing habitats, habitat age, management, disturbance etc
  • Looking at how effective specific habitat management is for specific species
  • Grassland management and establishment of new grassland habitats
  • UK mammal species, specifically those in Derbyshire
  • Citizen Science




Membership of professional bodies

I am a full member of CIEEM (Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management) and the (BES) British Ecological Society.

I am also a member of the Mammal Society, Bat Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Botanical Society for Britian and Ireland and numerous local conservation organisations.  


PGDip Environmental Management (Conservation Management) (University of Surrey)

PGCE Post Compulsory Education and Training (Sheffield Hallam University)

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (Wolverhampton University)

Recent publications

Mallon, D., Alston, D. and Whiteley, D (2012) The Mammals of Derbyshire. Sorby Natural History Society

Additional interests and activities

Outside of my University role, I am the Chair and County Recorder for the Derbyshire Mammal Group, and Chair of the Mammal Society's Training Committee.

I also teach courses for the Mammal Society, Field Studies Council and local Wildlife Trusts and am an Associate Tutor for Manchester Met University.  

Experience in industry

I have worked in ecology and conservation management for more than 20 years (the majority of which has been in Derbyshire) and I use this experience frequently in my teaching.

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