School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Aileen Mill

Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Ecology and Biodiversity


Aileen’s research interests are in applied ecology with policy relevance focussing on vertebrate species population management. She uses spatial and temporal modelling approaches to analyse complex systems. Within the broad sphere of biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife interactions her research focusses on invasive species ecology and management, wildlife disease and species exploitation. Aileen’s work is often applied in nature and she is interested in the interrelation between scientific research and evidence and decision making and looks for opportunities to use modelling approaches to support this.  She has significant experience in analysing vertebrate systems of policy concern, both terrestrial and aquatic, through collaborations with government agencies (APHA, Fera, EA) and international universities (RUSVM).

Aileen trained as a marine ecologist where she studied food web ecology of reef systems using stable isotopes as tracers. Developing an affinity with the quantification of ecology she worked in Scottish inshore fisheries, modeling crustacean life history and migration patterns and conducting crab and lobster stock assessments, before broadening her research interests to include terrestrial systems.

Aileen is a fellow of the Newcastle Policy Academy and a current member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Scottish Natural Heritage, Joint Advisory Committee for Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve and Scientific Advisory Committee for the Mammal Society and a member of IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group

Current Projects

EU LIFE 14 / Heritage Lottery Fund: Red Squirrels United

Red Squirrels Northern England: Impacts of invasive control on native species 

Natural England: Novel control methods of an invasive weed. Pirri-pirri burr

BBSRC (2018-2021): Host-pathogen interactions important in the movement of Campylobacter jejuni from the broiler chicken gut to edible tissues (CampAttack)

Recent Projects

BBSRC (2017): Broiler gut health and C. jejuni infection; impacts of harvest management

Defra Darwin Initative (2017): Responding to fish extripations in the global marine biodiversity epicentre

Modelling Evidence and Policy Research Group

We are a team of scientists with interests in modelling complex biological and socio-ecological systems international experts in the use of scientific evidence to influence policy making and decision making.

Current Postgraduate Supervision:

  • Olaf Booy (2013-) funded by APHA. Predicting the future invasive non-native species in Great Britain – the role of invasion pathways.
  • Inaki Deza-Cruz (2014- ) Joint candidature with Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, St Kitts. Epidemiology of Dengue Fever and Chickungyna.
  • Kirsty Lees (2015- ; C Fitzsimmons, P Robertson) Movement Ecology using Underwater Telemetry.
  • Jess Ward (2016 - ) Modelling Sociality in Carnivores.
  • Tina Skinner (2016 -  N Polunin and S Newman MAST) Role of apex predators in tropical ecosystems connectivity.
  • Alexander Khan (MAST with N Polunin, T Gray). Indonesian Tuna fisheries.
  • Jessica Duffill-Telsnig (MAST with N Polunin) NERC Case Studentship (CEFAS, Simon Jennings). Modelling Benthic - Pelagic coupling.


Recent PhD Students:

  • Simone Mordue (2017) funded by Defra. Natterer’s bat Myotis Nattereri foraging, habitat use and roosting behaviour.
  • Fabrice Stephenson (2016: MAST with N Polunin, C Fitzsimmons, C Scott) Supported by Natural England. Benthic habitat/potfishing interactions.
  • Wahyu Nugraha (2016;  N Polunin and S Newman MAST) Macroecology of Caribbean Parrotfish
  • Zelda Van der Waal (2013) funded by the Environment Agency. Population biology of salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta) in the river Tyne: using modelling to understand the factors influencing migration patterns.



  • Biodiversity and Conservation (BIO3039)
  • Mammal Surveying Skills (BIO3036)
  • Vertebrate Biology (BIO2029)
  • Residential Field Course (BIO2032)
  • Research Projects (BIO3194/5/6)


DPD for MSc Wildlife Management

  • Quantitative Research Skills (MST8022)
  • Wildlife Conflicts and Management (BIO8061)
  • Modelling and Data Analysis for Wildlife Management (BIO8056)
  • Invasive Species (BIO8063)
  • Ethics and Welfare (BIO8059)
  • Wildlife Research In Practice (BIO8058)
  • Research Projects (BIO8060, BIO8095)