Sally Little

Sally Little

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Animal Rural & Environmental Sciences


Dr Sally Little is a Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science in the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Brackenhurst Campus. She is module lead for Introduction to Global Environmental Issues and Biogeography and contributes to teaching on the modules Advanced Ecology, Living with Climate Change, Research Methods and Conservation Priorities.

Dr Little also supervises undergraduate student research projects in ecology,  environmental science and physical geography with an emphasis on topics related to coastal systems, climate change and freshwater and marine ecology.

Career overview

Dr Little has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and Zoology from Bangor University, a PGCert in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Leeds University and a PhD in freshwater, estuarine and marine ecology from Loughborough University (Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography).

Before joining the environment team at NTU in 2015, Dr Little worked as a Guest Lecturer and Research Associate at the University of Hull (Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences and Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences) and Loughborough University (Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography). Dr Little's ResearchGate can be found here.

Research areas

Dr Little’s research specialises in the assessment, investigation and prediction of environmental, anthropogenic and climatic pressures upon ecosystem structure and functioning in a range of aquatic environments (from marine through to freshwater), specialising in estuaries and coasts, but including karstic caves, chalk streams and rivers.

Dr Little’s recent research has included:

  • Developing innovative tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing Good Environmental Status.
  • Developing a new functional approach to defining, delineating and managing estuaries.
  • Investigating and assessing the impacts of future environmental change on commerce, society and the renewables sector in the Humber estuary and East coast margin.
  • Predicting the impact of future climate-driven increases in saline incursion upon estuarine and riverine ecology.
  • Investigating the response and recovery of aquatic fauna to supra-seasonal drought in perennial and intermittent chalk streams and rivers.

In particular, she is interested in:

  • Investigating, assessing and predicting the impacts of environmental change on estuaries and coasts.
  • Investigating the impacts of changes in water quality on benthic macroinvertebrate communities: Distributions, sensitivities and tolerances.
  • Biodiversity monitoring.
  • From catchment to coast: Ensuring continued provision of ecosystem services through effective management.
  • Environmental policy, legislation and management: Guiding and informing.
  • Investigating the impacts of litter on aquatic ecosystems.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity


European Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Networks: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Patrício J, Little S, Mazik K, Papadopoulou K, Smith CJ, Teixeira H, Hoffmann H, Uyarra MC, Solaun O, Zenetos A, Kaboglu G, Kryvenko O, Churilova T, Moncheva S, Bučas M, Borja A, Hoepffner N and Elliott M, Frontiers in Marine Science, 2016, 3, 161

Managing the Marine Environment, Conceptual Models and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Smith CJ, Papadopoulou KN, Barnard S, Mazik K, Elliott M, Patrício JM, Solaun O, Little S and Borja A, Frontiers in Marine Science, 2016, 3, 144

Quantifying salinity-induced changes on estuarine benthic fauna: The potential implications of climate change. Little S, Wood PJ and Elliott M, Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science, 2016, in press.

Macroinvertebrate seedbank composition in relation to antecedent duration of drying and multiple wet-dry cycles in a temporary stream. Stubbington R, Gunn J, Little S, Worrall TP, Wood PJ, Freshwater Biology, 2016, 61 (8), 1293-1307

Marine biodiversity and ecosystem function relationships: the potential for practical monitoring applications. Strong JA, Andonegi E, Bizsel KC, Danovaro R, Elliott M, Franco A, Garces E, Little S, Mazik K, Moncheva S, Papadopoulou N, Patrício J, Queirós AM, Smith C, Stefanova K and Solaun O, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2015, 161, 46–64

Changes in invertebrate community composition in benthic and hyporheic zones during a severe supra-seasonal drought. Stubbington R, Boulton AJ, Little S and Wood PJ, Freshwater Science, 2015, 34 (1), 344-354

The relative contributions of ecology and hydraulics to ecohydraulics. Rice SP, Little S, Wood PJ, Moir HJ and Vericat D, River Research and Applications, 2010, 26 (4), 363-366

Is the hyporheic zone a refugium for macroinvertebrates during severe low flow conditions? Wood PJ, Boulton AJ, Little S and Stubbington R, Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 2010, 176 (4), 377-390.

See all of Sally Little (Dr)'s publications...

Press expertise

  • Estuarine ecology
  • The impacts of future environmental change on estuaries and coasts
  • Defining and delineating estuarine boundaries
  • Impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems