Professor Jon Sadler

Professor Jon Sadler

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor of Biogeography

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jon Sadler is a biogeographer and ecologist whose research focuses on species population and assemblage dynamics in animals (sometimes plants). His work is highly interdisciplinary, bisecting biogeography, ecology, urban design, riparian management and island Biogeography. It uses approaches that combine detailed field studies, field and laboratory experimentation, sometimes with social science to examine the links between environmental variability and species (including humans) responses. His research has significant blue skies and applied implications for understanding and responding to the impacts of climate and environmental change variability on urban and island ecosystems, hydrological systems, riparian/riverine ecology, the management/conservation of freshwaters. He is a fan of numbers and coding (especially using open source software such as R).


Jon Sadler teaches on the following topics:

  • Earth and ecological systems
  • Landscape and urban ecology
  • Environmental assessment and modelling in R 
  • (Tutorials and fieldwork)

Postgraduate supervision

Jon Sadler’s research focuses on the ecology of two very different environments (riparian and urban) that are subjected to periodic disturbances by either natural and/or anthropogenic processes. The main thrust of the work is to disentangle the often conflicting influences of the landscape ecology of riverscapes and urban landscapes on the ecology of animals that live there. Within these broad areas there are two key linking and cross-cutting themes: gaining an improved understanding of how disturbance affects ecological communities and ecosystem function across a range of spatial (landscape-individual habitat patches) and temporal (millennial-diurnal) scales; how landscape configuration (pattern and form) affects community assembly and individual species movement (hence populations), community persistence and links to variability in ecological and ecosystem function. Professor Sadler's current ornithological project is investigating the ecological significance of linkage and connectivity for avian biodiversity in urban areas. He welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.

Other activities

Jon is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Biogeography, a fellow of Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a member of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly Sub-Division on Estuaries, Wetlands & Eco-Hydrology Steering Committee. He was an assessor for REF2014 (UoA 17).


Recent publications


Matthews, T, Sadler, J, Kubota, Y, Woodall, CW & Pugh, T 2019, 'Systematic variation in North American tree species abundance distributions along macroecological climatic gradients', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 601-611.

Lafage, D, Bergman, E, Eckstein, RL, Österling, EM, Sadler, JP & Piccolo, JJ 2019, 'Local and landscape drivers of aquatic-to-terrestrial subsidies in riparian ecosystems: a worldwide meta-analysis', Ecosphere, vol. 10, no. 4, e02697.

Hopper, N, Gosler, A, Sadler, J & Reynolds, S 2019, 'Species’ cultural heritage inspires a conservation ethos: the evidence in black and white', Conservation Letters.

Matthews, T, Borregaard, MK, Gillespie, CS, Rigal, F, Ugland, KI, Ferreira Krüger, R, Marques, R, Sadler, J, Borges, PAV, Kubota, Y & Whittaker, RJ 2019, 'Extension of the gambin model to multimodal species abundance distributions', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 432-437.

Croghan, D, Van Loon, AF, Sadler, JP, Bradley, C & Hannah, DM 2019, 'Prediction of river temperature surges is dependent on precipitation method', Hydrological Processes, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 144-159.

Matthews, T, Sadler, J, Carvalho, R, Nunes, R & Borges, PAV 2018, 'Differential temporal beta-diversity patterns of native and non-native arthropod species in a fragmented native forest landscape', Ecography.

Brunbjerg, AK, Hale, JD, Bates, AJ, Fowler, RE, Rosenfeld, EJ & Sadler, JP 2018, 'Can patterns of urban biodiversity be predicted using simple measures of green infrastructure?', Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, vol. 32, pp. 143-153.

Roberts, H, Resch, B, Sadler, J, Chapman, L, Petutschnig, A & Zimmer, S 2018, 'Investigating the Emotional Responses of Individuals to Urban Green Space Using Twitter Data: A Critical Comparison of Three Different Methods of Sentiment Analysis', Urban Planning, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 21-33.

Thomas, R, Mackenzie, A, Reynolds, S, Sadler, J, Cropley, F, Bell, S, Dugdale, S, Chapman, L, Quinn, A & Cai, X 2018, 'Avian Sensor Packages for Meteorological Measurements', Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 99, no. 3, pp. 499-511.

Roberts, H, Sadler, J & Chapman, L 2018, 'The value of Twitter data for determining the emotional responses of people to urban green spaces: A case study and critical evaluation', Urban Studies.

Conference contribution

Sadler, J, Thomas, R, Cropley, F, MacKenzie, AR & Reynolds, J 2018, Assessment and deployment of bird-carried meteorological sensors for microclimate measurements in urban terrain. in Geophysical Research Abstracts (GRA). vol. 20, 16288, European Geosciences Union, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, Vienna, Austria, 8/04/18.

Thomas, R, Cropley, F, MacKenzie, AR, Reynolds, J, Sadler, J, Chapman, L, Quinn, A, Zhong, J & Cai, X 2018, From the shed to the skies: a journey of sensor development and deployment involving bicycles, drones and eagles. in Geophysical Research Abstracts. vol. 20, 16720, European Geosciences Union, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, Vienna, Austria, 8/04/18.

Bradley, C, Croghan, D, Khamis, K, Van Loon, A, Sadler, J & Hannah, D 2018, High frequency DOM dynamics in urban rivers revealed by in-situ fluorometry. in Geophysical Research Abstracts. vol. 20, 10263 , European Geosciences Union, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018, Vienna, Austria, 8/04/18.

Croghan, D, Bradley, C, Hannah, D, Sadler, J & Van Loon, A 2017, Characterising event-based DOM inputs to an urban watershed. in AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts., GC14C-07, American Geophysical Union, AGU Fall Meeting 2017, New Orleans, United States, 11/12/17.

Croghan, D, Bradley, C, Khamis, K, Sadler, J & Van Loon, A 2017, In-situ fluorometers reveal high frequency dynamics in dissolved organic matter for urban rivers. in AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts., B41K-07, American Geophysical Union, AGU Fall Meeting 2017, New Orleans, United States, 11/12/17.

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