Impacts Theme Group Lead
Eric is a professor at Beijing Normal University working in the Key Lab for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering. Eric’s research focuses on understanding emergent threats to animal populations, species, and areas of biodiversity importance from climate change – particularly extreme climate and weather events.
Eric has a joint PhD from Imperial College London and the Institute of Zoology, the Zoological Society of London. Using phylogenetically informed analyses, Eric examined ecological and life history attributes underlying mammal population declines driven by extreme natural events. Afterwards, he focused his research on extinction risk of primate populations due to tropical cyclones in Southern Mexico, where he initially became interested in field research in primate ecology and conservation.
Working with colleagues from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IoZ-CAS), Eric assessed the congruence between hotspots of vertebrate richness, flood prone areas and refugia across priority areas for biodiversity conservation in China. He also worked to identify areas used by people inside giant panda nature reserves where risk assessment to natural disturbance is needed to avoid increased human interference in panda habitat that could amplify the effects of sudden extreme events.
Building on previous work dating back to 2012, Eric and colleagues conducted the first assessment of vulnerability to extreme climatic events for the world’s primates, which was published in Nature Climate Change in June 2019.