School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Zarah Pattison

Lecturer Ecological & Environmental Sci



Address: School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Modelling; Evidence and Policy Group, Room 5.51, Ridley Building 2, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

Twitter: @ZarahPattison

Personal website:

Research group member: Modelling, Evidence and Policy research group 


  • British Ecological Society
  • British Ecological Society Invasion Science Group (Co-Secretary)
  • Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
  • Freshwater Biological Association 
Grant Review Board 
  • International Foundation for Science (IFS)


Research Interests

Drivers and consequences of  alien plant invasions: Broad research interests include responses of invasive alien plants to changes in climate and how this impacts native communities and ecosystems. More specifically, I am interested in the competitive effects between dominant native and invasive alien plant species at varying spatial and temporal scales. Current research is focused on predicting environmental drivers of aquatic invasive alien plant hotspots globally and how this differs from terrestrial alien plants. 
Water security: I have a keen interest in water security and water quality. Much of my research is focused on inland freshwater systems. Previous research addressed questions relating to connectivity and presence/abundance of pathogenic bacteria in freshwater systems. Current research project is assessing the risk of invasion from bulk water transfers in the North East of England, UK.
Food security: I have a keen interest in the risk of invasion by alien species to food security, particularly in freshwater systems. Much of this work is in context of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals and how invasions may reduce progress to targets.
Biodiversity loss: Thinking about policy implications of invasive species, in respect to the Convention of Biological Diversity, I am keen to understand best practice in mitigating biodiversity loss and assessing best methods of action in order to achieve 2030 targets in reducing invasive species impacts.


Module Leader

MSc : BIO8073 Global assessments for policy support

MSc : BIO8062 Global Species Conservation Principles and Practice

BSc 2nd year : BIO2032 Residential Field Skills Course


MSc : NES8002 Research Dissertation Project

MSc : BIO8072 CHANS- Coupled Socio-ecological Systems

BSc 3rd year : BIO3039 Biodiversity Science and Management

BSc 3rd year : BIO3194/5/6 Research Projects 

BSc 1st year : MST1204 Academic and Professional Skills for Biosciences