Professor Ruth Swetnam

Professor of Applied Geography
PhD, MSc, BSc

Ruth is a GIS specialist interested in the application of spatial modelling to environmental processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales (local, national and regional). Her research interests lie in the fields of landscape ecology, historical geography, land use change and environmental information and she is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer in GIS.  After short spells at the National Remote Sensing Centre and the British Antarctic Survey, Ruth spent 14 years at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology where she built GIS databases to investigate ecological processes relevant to both fauna and flora. As a taster, these projects have included: the landscape impacts of climate change; the effects of fragmentation of woodlands on bird species; modelling the impact of game shooting on biodiversity; modelling the impact of set-aside on arable weeds and the spatial targeting of wet grassland restoration. Between 2007 and 2011 Ruth was a member of the Conservation Science group in the Zoology department of Cambridge where she worked on the Leverhulme funded programme ‘Valuing the Arc’ modelling ecosystem services in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania.  Ruth joined Staffordshire University in January 2012.

Professional Memberships

  • Elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2005
  • Awarded Chartered Geographer (CGeog, GIS) status by the RGS in 2009
  • Appointed to the editorial board of ‘Landscape and Urban Planning’ in 2007
  • Member of Lucy Cavendish College Cambridge
  • Member of the Association of Women in Science and Engineering
  • Voluntary mentor of women scientists for Mentorset
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of Royal Geographical Society (FRGS)

Selected Publications

Swetnam, Ruth D. and Tweed, Fiona (2018) A tale of two landscapes: Transferring landscape quality metrics from Wales to Iceland. Land Use Policy. ISSN 02648377

Swetnam, R. D., Harrison, S. K., Smith, G. R (2017) Quantifying landscape quality in rural Wales: A GIS-enabled method for extensive monitoring. Ecosystem Services, 26: 451-464

Willcock, S., Phillips, O., Platts, P, Swetnam R. D., et al., (2016) Land cover change and carbon emissions over 100 years in an African biodiversity hotspot. Global Change Biology, doi:10.111/gcb.13218.

Swetnam, R., Smith, G.R. and Prochorskaite, A (2015) Landscape and Historic. Chapter 4 of second year contract report by the GMEP monitoring team to the Welsh Government, Cardiff. In: contract report by the GMEP monitoring team to the Welsh Government. GMEP.

McCracken, M. E., Woodcock, B. A., Lobley, M., Pywell, R. F., Saratsi, E., Swetnam, R. D., Mortimer, S. R., Harris, S. J., Winter, M., Hinsley, S., Bullock, J. M., (2015) Social and ecological drivers of success in agri-environment schemes: the roles of farmers and environmental context. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52(3): 696-705 

Yi, Zhuang-Fang; Wong, Grace; Cannon, Charles H.; Xu, Jianchu; Beckshäfer, Philip and Swetnam, Ruth D. (2014) Can carbon-trading schemes help to protect China’s most diverse forest ecosystems? A case study from Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. Land Use Policy, 38, 646-656.

Yi, Z & Swetnam et al., (2014) Developing indicators of economic value and biodiversity loss for rubber plantations in Xishuangbanna, southwest China: A case study from Menglun township. Ecological Indicators, 36: 788-797.

Schaafsma, M., & Swetnam et al., (2012) Towards transferable functions for extraction of Non-timber  Forest Products: A case study on charcoal production in Tanzania. Ecological Economics, 80: 48-62.

Swetnam et al.(2011) Mapping socio-economic scenarios of land cover change:  a GIS method to enable ecosystem service modelling. Journal of Environmental Management, 92: 563-574

Fisher & Swetnam et al. (2011) Implementation and opportunity costs of reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Tanzania. Nature Climate Change, 1: 161-164. DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE1119.

Complete List of Publications

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