Helen Hicks

Helen Hicks

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Environment

Role

Dr Hicks is a Lecturer in Environmental Sciences. She currently teaches Environmental Monitoring & GIS, Wildlife Population Biology, Technical Skills for Environmental Scientists, Introduction to Earth Sciences and Land Use Ecology.

Career overview

Helen started her career with an Undergraduate degree in Geography (BSc Hons) from the University of Birmingham in 2005. She completed her MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation at UEA in 2006. Helen then went on to work for a number of research institutes (Rothamsted Research and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and conservation charities (Wildlife Trusts and Freshwater Habitats Trust), before returning to academia to complete her PhD in agricultural ecology at the University of Reading. Helen’s PhD research looked at the effectiveness of agri-environment schemes for providing nesting and foraging habitat for farmland birds. Her recent post-doctoral research has been as part of a BBSRC funded project investigating herbicide resistance in UK agriculture. Helen is now a lecturer in Environmental Science and hopes to incorporate her research interests into the delivery of modules on undergraduate taught courses.

Research areas

Helen’s research interests centre on sustainable agricultural practices and balancing food production with biodiversity conservation. Her PhD research modelled farmland bird populations and assessed how ‘wildlife-friendly’ agri-environment schemes could contribute to the niche requirements of 19 bird species. More recently, Helen has been looking at the causative factors in the evolution of herbicide resistance in arable weeds in the UK, and the likely management implications for the agricultural sector. She completed a fellowship at the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology where she wrote a policy briefing document on 'Balancing Nature and Agriculture'. Helen continues to work in collaboration with academics from the University of Sheffield, Rothamsted Research and Institute of Zoology, and is currently interested in how farmers’ information networks and risk perceptions influence their farm management decisions, especially with relation to agri-chemical use and managing evolution of herbicide resistance.

External activity

Dr Hicks has a network of collaborators from UK universities and research institutions: University of Sheffield, Institute of Zoology (ZSL, London), Newcastle University, University of York, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and Rothamsted Research. She also has close contacts with Defra.

Publications

Balancing Nature and Agriculture, 2012, Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology POSTnote 418

Hicks, H. L., D. Comont, S. R. Coutts, L. Crook, R. Hull, K. Norris, P. Neve, D. Z. Childs and R. P. Freckleton (2018). The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(3): 529-536.

Freckleton, R., Hicks, H L., Comont, D., Crook, L., Hull, R., Neve, P. and Childs, D., 2017. Measuring the effectiveness of management interventions at regional scales by integratingecological monitoring and modelling. Pest Management Science

Lambert J, Hicks H L, Childs D, Freckleton R, 2017. Evaluating the potential of UnmannedAerial Systems for mapping weeds at field scales: a case study with Alopecurus myosuroides. Weed Research

Course(s) I teach on