Dr Francis J Burdon

Francis Burdon


Qualifications: BSc, MSc, PhD University of Canterbury

Personal Website:

About Francis

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, Feb 2017 – Feb 2021.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland, Jun 2013 – Dec 2016.

Papers Taught

Research Interests

I am a freshwater ecologist interested in the response of biological systems to environmental change across multiple levels of organization. I work predominantly in stream and river ecosystems focusing on invertebrate communities, but also including other compartments (e.g., microbes and fish). My research has a strong applied component involving anthropogenic drivers (e.g., land-use change, pollution, warming) and their impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Within this wider framework, I have three core areas of freshwater ecology that I am interested in researching:

  1. Community structure and function - Determinants of biodiversity and how they contribute to food-web structure and ecosystem functioning
  2. Food web ecology - Using trophic biomarkers (e.g., stable isotopes, fatty acids) to measure how environmental change impacts food webs
  3. Land-water interactions - Aquatic-terrestrial linkages and the importance of ecosystem connectivity including riparian management

See my Google Scholar page for a full list of publications.

Research Supervised

Currently co-supervising:

Ze Hui Kong, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences PhD candidate. Thesis title: “Comparing microplastics and naturally occurring FPOM in freshwater food webs: Evaluation of properties, fate and individual to ecosystem level impacts”. Aug 2019 – present

Jasmina Sargac, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences PhD candidate. Thesis title: "How does altered connectivity between stream and riparian ecosystems impact biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services". Feb 2018 – present

Recent Publications

  • Barrett, I. C., McIntosh, A. R., Febria, C. M., Graham, S. E., Burdon, F. J., Pomeranz, J. P. F., & Warburton, H. J. (2022). Integrative analysis of stressor gradients reveals multiple discrete trait‐defined axes underlie community assembly. Ecosphere, 13(7). doi:10.1002/ecs2.4164 Open Access version:

  • Witing, F., Forio, M. A. E., Burdon, F. J., Mckie, B., Goethals, P., Strauch, M., & Volk, M. (2022). Riparian reforestation on the landscape scale – Navigating trade‐offs among agricultural production, ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. Journal of Applied Ecology, 16 pages. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.14176 Open Access version:

  • Costello, D. M., Tiegs, S. D., Boyero, L., Canhoto, C., Capps, K. A., Danger, M., . . . Zwart, J. A. (2022). Global patterns and controls of nutrient immobilization on decomposing cellulose in riverine ecosystems. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 36(3). doi:10.1029/2021gb007163

  • Forio, M. A. E., Burdon, F. J., De Troyer, N., Lock, K., Witing, F., Baert, L., . . . Goethals, P. (2021). A Bayesian Belief Network learning tool integrates multi-scale effects of riparian buffers on stream invertebrates. Science of The Total Environment, 152146. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152146

Find more research publications by Francis Burdon


Biology; Ecology; Environmental Change

Freshwater ecology; Community ecology; Ecosystem ecology

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: R.2.10
Phone: +64 7 837 9957
Cellphone: +64 21 091 66276