Profile of Alice Evans

Alice Evans
Phd Student
Molecular Ecology and Evolution at Bangor
School of Natural Sciences
ECW Building, 3rd Floor,
Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK


My research interests lie in population genetics, molecular ecology and conservation biology, particularly of marine and aquatic ecosystems. I aim to have a career in which I can contribute solutions to issues such as the global loss of biodiversity, climate change and habitat destruction. I love nature, so I enjoy exploring the world and its varied and beautiful environments through hiking, diving and travelling. I completed my advanced PADI diving course in Utila, Honduras in 2011; I completed the UK’s three peak challenge in 2011, raising money for a terminally ill cancer patient; and have volunteered with conservation organizations around the world. I also enjoy art, literature, writing, and music (I play the piano, oboe, and guitar) and I write a general commentary blog (


Quick CV

Master Programme in Biology, Molecular Ecology
Lund University, Sweden, September 2012 – August 2013

BSc (Hons) in Biology with placement year
Cardiff University, September 2007 – June 2011 


2014: Co-I - Global Innovation Initiative grant - Environmental DNA for rapid assessment of biodiversity and conservation planning in Indonesia – £147,995

2014: PI - Assessing the impact of Freshwater Protected Areas through next generation sequencing of environmental DNA – £2,950


PhD Project

Project title:

Assessing the impact of Freshwater Protected Areas through next-generation sequencing of environmental DNA

Freshwater species and the habitats within which they live are one of the most threatened ecosystems on our planet. My research project (supervised by Mark de Bruyn, co-supervised by Gary Carvalho, and funded by NERC) will examine the role of freshwater protected areas in conserving freshwater biodiversity in sites across Southeast Asia. The project will be complemented by long-term population data, and will focus on developing the technique of using environmental DNA from water samples, combined with next generation sequencing to detect, monitor, and ultimately conserve freshwater biodiversity.

Specific Objectives:

  1. To identify whether species richness and endemism is greater within FPAs compared to outside these areas. Specifically, we will generate high-quality, replicated DNA 'barcode' sequences of freshwater aquatic taxa, extracted from replicate water samples from transects within and outside reserves, to address this objective. Mesocosm experiments have validated this method, however, we will also use extensive field survey data to further validate our molecular results.
  2. To quantify the biomass of select taxa within FPAs compared to outside these areas, to understand whether freshwater taxa are congregating within protected areas, as has been shown for fish within marine protected areas.
  3. To assess the regional distribution of targeted freshwater taxa that have high-priority for conservation on the IUCN Red List, to identify key freshwater habitats of particular importance. e.g freshwater stingrays/giant catfish/turtles/sawfish.


Bohmann K*, Evans A*, Gilbert MTP, Carvalho GR, Creer S, Knapp M, Yu DW, de Bruyn M (2014) Environmental DNA for wildlife biology and biodiversity monitoring. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. (* joint first authors)

Gillespie GR, Ahmad E, Elahan B, Evans A, Ancrenaz M, Goossesn B, Scroggie MP (2012) Conservation of amphibians in Borneo: Relative value of secondary tropical forest and non-forest habitats. Biological Conservation, 152: 136-144.

Evans A, Bruford M, MacFadyen D, Russo I-R (In Review) Spatial genetic structure of Mastomys natalensis in a heterogeneous landscape: a landscape genetics approach for the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Journal of African Zoology