Dr Awantha Dissanayake
Head of School (Marine Sciences)
Dr Dissanayake has extensive experience in marine biology, especially in the development and implementation of ecophysiological approaches to environmental monitoring, having published over 20 peer-reviewed articles. Examples of his work include environmental monitoring programmes (DEFRA/EA), climate change impacts (Australian & Japanese Governments), educational outreach programmes (Singapore), conservation in Marine Protected Areas (Thailand), and additionally, capacity-building and knowledge-transfer programmes (India, Vietnam, and Thailand).
Prof Julia Elizabeth Fa
Professor Fa’s research embraces biology, economics, anthropology, and development. She has projects in Africa and South America that pursue a wide variety of global biodiversity issues – defaunation of tropical rainforests, food security, indigenous peoples and the impact of diseases on wildlife and humans. Julia has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and nine books in her name, and has led numerous research projects in different parts of the world. She also teaches on a number of courses in academic institutions in the UK, Europe, Africa and Latin American countries.
Associate Lecturer- MSc Environmental Science & Climate Change
Bethany is an Environmental researcher with a broad academic and professional background. Her focus is on wildlife management, conservation, and ecology, showcased by her ongoing PhD at the University of Gibraltar. Bethany aims to enhance understanding of Barbary macaque dynamics and community involvement. Holding degrees in BSc Geography and MSc Wildlife Management, she’s experienced many diverse research areas, including invertebrate surveying, soil analysis, historical data organisation, and ecological consulting. Bethany’s consultancy experience encompasses species-specific studies and vegetation surveys.
Dr Keith Bensusan
Director, The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Dr Bensusan’s background is in the biological sciences and he has a broad knowledge of terrestrial natural history, most notably plants, insects and birds. He chairs the University research and Research degrees Committee and is also a member of the Nature Conservancy Council, the Scientific Authority, the Gibraltar Port Authority and the Development and Planning Commission. Keith also sits on the Gibraltar regional Committee for European Funding (JLAG) and the Council of the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS).
Senior Environment Officer, HMGoG Department of the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change (DoEHCC)
Mr Warr is closely involved with the management of both the Rock of Gibraltar and the Southern Waters of Gibraltar Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). He has particular expertise in intertidal ecology and marine surveillance monitoring programmes.
Dr Rhian Guillem
Senior Research Associate
Dr Rhian Guillem’s research interests are specialised in the taxonomy of Mediterranean ants. She is also working on cataloguing the Hymenoptera of Gibraltar. Rhian has contributed to over 24 scientific peer-reviewed research publications which have focused on ants, plants and birds. She has produced notable research in the taxonomic status of ants, having produced papers identifying new species in different regions of Spain and documenting the species in Gibraltar and producing work on the behavioural traits of ant colonies. She also has contributed to projects involving the identification of all Lepidoptera species in Gibraltar and the ecology of bats, swifts and Crag Martins. Additionally, her work also focuses on identifying insect pest species, most specifically in Eucalyptus plants in Gibraltar.
Keith Madeira is the Cartographer and GIS Co-ordinator for HM Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG), as well as a PhD Researcher. A professional background in spatial analysis and a keen interest in the military history of Gibraltar has led Keith to undertake research into the effectiveness of the Fortress of Gibraltar itself using GIS, focusing on key points throughout its history. Being The Rock’s first dedicated cartographer in over a century puts Keith in a unique position to observe and document how the face of Gibraltar has changed over time. A major aspect of his research currently being undertaken is to georeference a range of early maps of Gibraltar, some dating back to the early 1700s, by overlaying them digitally onto his own modern map, allowing for the first time a direct comparison between different stages of Gibraltar’s Fortress history together in one place.