Conservation Science

Sílvia Pérez-Espona

Conservation Science Coordinator and Lecturer - Conservation Genetics


My main research interests concern the application of molecular tools to address ecological and evolutionary questions to assist the conservation and management of biodiversity. I have worked on a wide range of organisms from temperate, tropical and polar regions. I am a Conservation Science Programme Coordinator at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The University of Edinburgh. As part of this role, I coordinate the M.Sc. Applied Conservation Genetics with Wildlife Forensics and the Edinburgh Conservation Science consortium (  Before this position, I was a Visiting Fellow at the Estación Biológica de Doñana - CSIC, a Senior Lecturer in Zoology at Anglia Ruskin University (2012-2016), and a postdoctoral research at Queen Mary, University of London (2010-2012), University of Bristol (2007-2010) and University of Cambridge (2007).

Research Interests

My strongest research background is on population genetics of red deer (Cervus elaphus) with the aim to assist deer management in Scotland. Within this research line, I am currently adopting genomic approaches to study loci linked to body condition and other adaptive traits in deer. As part of previous postdoctoral research and collaborations, I am also active in other areas of research such as the study of the neotropical army ant Eciton burchellii and some its associates ( in collaboration with the University of Bristol), the role of migratory birds on population structure of Mediterranean plants (in collaboration with Estación Biológica de Doñana – CSIC), population genetics of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and an ongoing study using genetics to assist the South Georgia fishery with skate identification (in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey), and population genomics of Nepalese water buffaloes (in collaboration with Agriculture and Forestry University of Nepal).  

Due to my interest on increasing communication between conservation geneticists and practitioners, I was also part of the EU consortium ConGRESS (Conservation Genetics Resources for Effective Species Survival) and have collaborated with conservation NGOs such as IUCN during the consultation process for their initiative on the identification of Global Key Biodiversity Areas. This interest on knowledge transfer and increased communication between scientists and conservation practitioners will be carried forward as part of my new role as coordinator for the Edinburgh Conservation Science (ECOS) consortium.