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

  • 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

  • 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:

  • Boyero, L., López-Rojo, N., Tonin, A. M., Pérez, J., Correa-Araneda, F., Pearson, R. G., . . . Yule, C. M. (2021). Impacts of detritivore diversity loss on instream decomposition are greatest in the tropics. Nature Communications, 12(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23930-2

  • Burdon, F. J. (2021). Understanding the connectivity of ecosystems in the Anthropocene. Journal of Animal Ecology, 90(7), 1600-1604. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.13550

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