Dr Thomas Davies

Dr Thomas Davies

Lecturer in Marine Conservation

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



11/2019: Lecturer in Marine Conservation, University of Plymouth.

10/2017 - 10/2019: Sêr Cymru II Independent Research Fellow, Bangor University, Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. ‘Artificial light impacts on the encroachment of non-native species

04/2017 – 08/2017: Research Fellow, University of Exeter, NERC Valuing Nature placement. ‘Addressing the influence of human values on selective investment in conservation priorities’.

05/2011 – 03/2017: Research Fellow, University of Exeter. ECOLIGHT: The ecological impacts of artificial light at night.

01/2006 - 09/2006: Marine Curatorial Assistant, National Museum and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff. Sorting and identification of marine benthic invertebrate samples collected for the HABMAP project.

07/2005 - 01/2006:   Launch Coxswain, Island Cruising Club, Salcombe.


2007 - 2011: Ph.D. Marine Ecology, Bangor University, Thesis: Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal marine communities: towards predicting the consequences of extinction for ecosystem functioning in natural assemblages

2006 - 2007: M.Sc. Marine Environmental Protection, Bangor University. Project title: Does physical disturbance moderate the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function in subtidal benthic communities?

2002 - 2005: B.Sc. (Hons)  Marine Biology & Oceanography, University of Plymouth.

Teaching Qualifications

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy



Teaching interests

I teach on:-

MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems (Module Lead)

MAR532 Marine Conservation Practice

MAR513 Research Skills and Methods

MAR533 Marine Conservation Project

OS301 Ocean Science Research Project

OS312 Marine Science Field Course (The Isles of Scilly)

OS304 Marine Ecosystem Conservation

OS205 Managing Human Impacts in the Marine Environment (Module Lead)

OS206 Researching the Marine Environment.



Research interests

I am an interdisciplinary conservation ecologist working at the interface between the environment and society. My research seeks to understand the impacts and management of man-made global change on ecosystems, and human-environment interrelationships. I have published research on the impacts and management of a variety of global change issues - most notably Artificial Light at Night (ALAN). ALAN is a recently emergent and rapidly growing focus for global change research in the 21st century with ramifications for ecosystems, human health, and human-environment interrelationships.

I am Principal Investigator of the NERC funded ‘Artificial Light Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems (ALICE)’ project, which combines expertise from the UK's leading marine science institutions to tackle fundamental gaps in our understanding of coastal ecosystem responses to ALAN, and how we can manage them.

I have research expertise in marine and terrestrial ecology, the ecology of the night time, photobiology, sensory pollution,  community ecology, urban ecology, remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems, culturomics and conservation.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Current PhD students

Emma Moyse: University of Plymouth. Impacts of Artificial Light at Night on Visual Ecology. Supervised by Thomas Davies (University of Plymouth), Louise Firth (University of Plymouth) and Tim Smyth (Plymouth Marine Laboratory). Started October 2021

Leo Burke: Bangor University. Artificial Skyglow Impacts on the Chronobiology of Marine Organisms. Supervised by Amy Ellison (Bangor University), Stuart Jenkins (Bangor University), David Wilcockson (Aberystwyth University), and Thomas Davies (University of Plymouth). Started October 2020.

M.Sc. and M.res. completions

2021:   Danielle Grumann, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2021:   Lucy Capron, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2021:   Charlotte Cook, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2021:   Shannon Nailor, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2021:   Neil Thorp , M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2021:   James Weatherly , M.Res. University of Plymouth

2020:   Oak McMahon, M.Sc. University of Plymouth (in review)

2020:   Fabian Bowes Richley, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2020:   Amy Flude, M.Sc. University of Plymouth

2019:  Daniela Torrez Diaz, M.Sc. Bangor University. (published in Current Biology)

2019:   Harry Davies, M.Sc. Bangor University.

2019:   Leo Burke, M.Sc. Bangor University.

2018:  Katherine Reynolds, M.Sc. Bangor University 

2018:   Matthew Garratt, M.Sc. Bangor University (published in Sci. Tot. Environ.)

2015:  Charlotte Underwood, M.Sc., University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (published in J. Anim. Ecol.)

2013:  Mathew Coleman, M.Sc., Bangor University, (published in Biol. Letts.)

2010:  Joseph Kennworthy, M.Biol., Bangor University (co-authored paper in PLoS One.)

2010:  Christiaan van Sluis, Masters, Wageningen University.

2009:  Rachel Kingham, M.Sc., Bangor University (co-authored paper in J. Ecol.)

2008:  Inger Stevens, M.Sc., Bangor University.

Grants & contracts

2018:  PI (£1.7M) NERC ‘Artificial Light Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems (ALICE)’. University of Plymouth, Bangor University, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, University of Southampton, University of Strathclyde.

2017:   PI (£16,198) National Geographic Explorer Grant. ‘In search of darkness: mapping the distribution of artificial light at night in a heavily urbanized temperate estuary’. [Davies (School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University), Smyth (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), and McKee (University of Strathclyde)]

2017:  PI (£209,047) Sêr Cymru II Independent Research Fellowship. European Regional Development Fund. ‘Artificial Light Impacts on the Encroachment of Non-native Species (ALIENS)’ [Davies (School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University)]

2017:  PI (£19,426) NERC Valuing Nature placement. ‘Addressing the influence of human values on selective investment in conservation priorities’ [Davies (Center for Geography, Environment and Society, University of Exeter)]

2015:  PI (£2,458) Plymouth Marine Laboratory – Exeter collaboration fund. ‘Impacts of light pollution on benthic ecosystems’ [Davies (Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter) and Queiros (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)]

Creative practice & artistic projects

2013:   PI (£2,000) CATALYST funded outreach. St Just night walks. [Davies (Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter)]





Tidau, S., Smyth, T., McKee, D., Wiedenmann, J., D’Angelo, C., Wilcockson, D., Ellison, A., Grimmer, A.J., Jenkins, S.R., Widdicombe, S., Queirós, A.M., Talbot, E., Wright, A. & Davies, T.W. (2021) Marine artificial light at night: An empirical and technical guide. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12: 1588-1601.


Davies, T. W., McKee, D., Fishwick, J., Tidau, S., & Smyth, T. (2020). Biologically important artificial light at night on the seafloor. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-10.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69461-6

Torres, D., Tidau, S., Jenkins, S. & Davies, T. (2020) Artificial skyglow disrupts celestial migration at night. Current Biology, 30(12), R696–R697.


Garratt, M. J., Jenkins, S. R., & Davies, T. W. (2019). Mapping the consequences of artificial light at night for intertidal ecosystems. Science of the Total Environment, 691, 760-768.


Davies, T. W., & Smyth, T. (2018). Why artificial light at night should be a focus for global change research in the 21st century. Global Change Biology, 24(3), 872-882.

Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Cruse, D., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2018). Artificial light at night causes top‐down and bottom‐up trophic effects on invertebrate populations. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(6), 2698-2706.

Davies, T., Cowley, A., Bennie, J., Leyshon, C., Inger, R., Carter, H., ... & Gaston, K. (2018). Popular interest in vertebrates does not reflect extinction risk and is associated with bias in conservation investment. PloS one, 13(9).

Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Cruse, D., Bell, F., & Gaston, K. J. (2018). Artificial light at night alters grassland vegetation species composition and phenology. Journal of applied ecology, 55(1), 442-450.


Gaston, K. J., Davies, T. W., Nedelec, S. L., & Holt, L. A. (2017). Impacts of artificial light at night on biological timings. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 48, 49-68.

Sun, X., Zhang, F., Ding, Y., Davies, T. W., Li, Y., & Wu, D. (2017). Delimiting species of Protaphorura (Collembola: Onychiuridae): integrative evidence based on morphology, DNA sequences and geography. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1-9.

Underwood, C. N., Davies, T. W., & Queirós, A. M. (2017). Artificial light at night alters trophic interactions of intertidal invertebrates. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86(4), 781-789.

Davies, T. W., Bennie, J., Cruse, D., Blumgart, D., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2017). Multiple night‐time light‐emitting diode lighting strategies impact grassland invertebrate assemblages. Global Change Biology, 23(7), 2641-2648.


Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Cruse, D., & Gaston, K. J. (2016). Ecological effects of artificial light at night on wild plants. Journal of Ecology, 104(3), 611-620.

Davies, T. W., Duffy, J. P., Bennie, J., & Gaston, K. J. (2016). Stemming the tide of light pollution encroaching into marine protected areas. Conservation Letters, 9(3), 164-171.


Sanders, D., Kehoe, R., Tiley, K., Bennie, J., Cruse, D., Davies, T. W., ... & Gaston, K. J. (2015). Artificial nighttime light changes aphid-parasitoid population dynamics. Scientific Reports, 5, 15232.

Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Cruse, D., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2015). Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1667), 20140131.

Davies, T. W., Coleman, M., Griffith, K. M., & Jenkins, S. R. (2015). Night-time lighting alters the composition of marine epifaunal communities. Biology letters, 11(4), 20150080.

Bennie, J., Duffy, J. P., Davies, T. W., Correa-Cano, M. E., & Gaston, K. J. (2015). Global trends in exposure to light pollution in natural terrestrial ecosystems. Remote Sensing, 7(3), 2715-2730.

Kyba, C. C., Tong, K. P., Bennie, J., Birriel, I., Birriel, J. J., Cool, A., ...Davies, T.W. ... & Ehlert, R. (2015). Worldwide variations in artificial skyglow. Scientific reports, 5, 8409.


Gaston, K. J., Duffy, J. P., Gaston, S., Bennie, J., & Davies, T. W. (2014). Human alteration of natural light cycles: causes and ecological consequences. Oecologia, 176(4), 917-931.

Lambert, G. I., Jennings, S., Kaiser, M. J., Davies, T. W., & Hiddink, J. G. (2014). Quantifying recovery rates and resilience of seabed habitats impacted by bottom fishing. Journal of Applied Ecology, 51(5), 1326-1336.

Davies, T. W., Duffy, J. P., Bennie, J., & Gaston, K. J. (2014). The nature, extent, and ecological implications of marine light pollution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12(6), 347-355.

Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2014). Mapping artificial lightscapes for ecological studies. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 5(6), 534-540.

Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., Duffy, J. P., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2014). Contrasting trends in light pollution across Europe based on satellite observed night time lights. Scientific reports, 4(1), 1-6.

Inger, R., Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., & Gaston, K. J. (2014). Potential biological and ecological effects of flickering artificial light. PloS one, 9(5).


Gaston, K. J., Bennie, J., Davies, T. W., & Hopkins, J. (2013). The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal. Biological reviews, 88(4), 912-927.

Davies, T. W., Bennie, J., Inger, R., De Ibarra, N. H., & Gaston, K. J. (2013). Artificial light pollution: are shifting spectral signatures changing the balance of species interactions?. Global change biology, 19(5), 1417-1423.

Davies, T. W., Bennie, J., Inger, R., & Gaston, K. J. (2013). Artificial light alters natural regimes of night-time sky brightness. Scientific Reports, 3, 1722.


Davies, T. W., Jenkins, S. R., Kingham, R., Hawkins, S. J., & Hiddink, J. G. (2012). Extirpation‐resistant species do not always compensate for the decline in ecosystem processes associated with biodiversity loss. Journal of Ecology, 100(6), 1475-1481.

Davies, T. W., Bennie, J., & Gaston, K. J. (2012). Street lighting changes the composition of invertebrate communities. Biology letters, 8(5), 764-767.

Gaston, K. J., Davies, T. W., Bennie, J., & Hopkins, J. (2012). Reducing the ecological consequences of night‐time light pollution: options and developments. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49(6), 1256-1266.


Davies, T. W., Jenkins, S. R., Kingham, R., Kenworthy, J., Hawkins, S. J., & Hiddink, J. G. (2011). Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes. PloS one, 6(12), e28362.


Geert J.G., Davies, T.W., Perkins, M., Machairopoulou, M., & Neill, S. P. (2009). Context dependency of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is different for multiple ecosystem functions. Oikos, 118(12), 1892-1900.