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Dr Jan Axmacher
Pearson Building
Gower Street
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Dept of Geography
  • Faculty of S&HS
Academic positions
Since 2013 Senior Lecturer, UCL Department of Geography, University College London
2005-2013 Lecturer, UCL Department of Geography, University College London

Postdoctoral training
2004 – 2005 Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Teaching Assistant, International Research Training Group “Sustainable Resource Use in North China” and Institute for Computer Applications and Business Management in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
2003 – 2004 Postdoctoral Scientific Employee, Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITOEK), Bayreuth, Germany


2006 – 2008 Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCLTHE) 1999 – 2003 PhD studies (Dr rer. nat.), University of Bayreuth, Germany
1993 – 1998 Diplom Geoökologie, University of Bayreuth, Germany

Administrative roles (UCL)
Since 2013 Member of the Student Recruitment and Admissions Committee, UCL|
Since 2013 Departmental Equal Opportunity Liason Officer (DEOLO), UCL Department of Geography
Since 2012 Admissions tutor, UCL Department of Geography
Since 2010 Course Convenor, UCL MSc Conservation
2008-2010 Head of Exam Board, UCL MSc Conservation
2007 – 2010 Undergraduate Dissertation Convenor, BSc Geography

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

My main research interests are in biodiversity conservation. I am particularly interested in the diversity patterns of insects and vascular plants in space and time, and in the environmental factors that govern these patterns. My research focuses on the effects changing land-use pattern, habitat management, climate change and invasive species have on beetle, moth and plant communities. Furthermore, I study invasive plant species, their spread and ecology, and I am interested in the effects of land-use change and habitat restoration on biogeochemical cycles. Geographically, I have worked in Eastern Africa and South America, while my current research activities are primarily based in Northern China and the UK.

Some of my future research interests can be summarized as

  • Biodiversity
    patterns of plants and invertebrates in space and time; biodiversity in agricultural and forested landscapes; global change effects; management strategies for biodiversity conservation; effects of invasive species on highly diverse versus less diverse communities

  • Regeneration,
    restoration and management of terrestrial and aquatic (pond) ecosystems; habitat fragmentation; island biogeography; key factors controlling the dispersal of plants and animals during the colonization of restored habitats

  • Conservation
    strategies and governance issues; community-based conservation

Teaching Summary
Main teaching committments

MSc teaching
I convene the MSc Conservation, the oldest degree in nature conservation in the UK, and most of my MSc teaching is linked to this degree programme. Some of the modules I teach are also popular with students on the MSc Environment, Science and Society and MSc Aquatic Science programmes. I contribute to the following modules:

GEOGG102 Environmental Data Acquisition and Analysis (Module organiser, 3 days laboratory practicals, 12h statistics practical/lecture sessions)
GEOGG104 Scientific Basis for Freshwater and Coastal Conservation (Module co-organizer, 6 days field-class, 3h lectures)
GEOGG069 Conservation and Environmental Management (9h lectures, 3h seminar sessions)
GEOGG068 Changing Landscapes – Nature Conservation and GEOGG067 Changing Landscapes – Nature, Culture, Politics (module co-organizer, 14 days field-class, 2h lectures)

Undergraduate teaching
GEOG2007 Ecological Patterns and Processes (Module organizer, 12h lectures, 1 day field-class)
GEOG2026 Statistics for Environmental Geographers (2h lecture, 1h practical)

I furthermore contribute towards the teaching in tutorial sessions for both 1st and 3rd year undergraduate students and provide mentoring for undergraduate and MSc students.

Past teaching

MSc modules, UCL
GEOGG054 Monitoring Conservation Status (Module organizer, field class supervision, lectures and seminars)
GEOGG056 Managing Nature (Module co-organizer, field-class supervision and lectures)
GEOGG063 Scientific Basis of Conservation (field-class supervision and lectures)
GEOGG064 Remote sensing and GIS (lectures)

BSc/BA modules, UCL
GEOG2001 Practice of Geography (lectures)
GEOG3054 Independent studies (tutorial sessions with students)

MSc Agribusiness/BSc Agro-Sciences, University of Hohenheim, Germany
Fundamentals in Agro-Informatics (lectures)
Subject-specific Agro-Informatics (lectures)
GIS and Regionalization (lectures)

Diplom Geoecology, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Vegetation and soil science (field-class supervision)
Biocoenology; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning; Numerical methods (seminar supervision)

Academic Background
2008 PGCert Postgraduate Certificate – Learning and Teaching University College London
2003 Dr.rer.nat. Doctor rerum naturalium – Biogeography Universitat Bayreuth
1998 Dipl. Diplom – Biogeography Universitat Bayreuth
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