Biology welcomes new Associate Professor Tutorial Fellows

Beth Mortimer

Associate Professor in Animal Biology & Tutorial Fellow of Hertford College

beth mortimer

Beth is a current member of the Department and will continue her Royal Society University Research Fellowship with us, which she started in 2019. Beth’s background is in the interface between Biology and Engineering, having studied both her BA and DPhil in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford.

Her research to-date has focussed on how vibrations through materials can be used as an information source by animals, with a particular focus on spiders and elephants.

She also has a background in access & outreach work with schools. She has a PGCE and has had previous roles as Access & Career Development Fellow at Jesus College and Outreach Lead for Biology at Oxford.

She hopes in her future work to study the mechanical senses more broadly in animals, continuing research that looks across taxonomic groups. She aims to understand how and why mechanical stimuli, from touch to vibration, are used for information.


Ricardo Rocha

Associate Professor in Conservation Science & Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College

ricardo rocha

Image cred: Madalena Boto

Ricardo joins the Department from the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, associated with the University of Porto and University of Lisbon. He obtained a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Lisbon and a MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College London. Prior to returning to Portugal he was based at the Conservation Science Group of the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

Ricardo’s research aims to provide the evidence needed to support conservation decision making under contemporary global change. His work has a special focus on how to restore biodiversity in the aftermath of habitat loss and fragmentation and how to manage human-modified landscapes to retain biodiversity and maximise ecosystem-services.

Much of Ricardo’s work is centred on tropical and insular ecosystems and uses bats as a model system. But he also works extensively with other terrestrial vertebrates, with an emphasis on birds and reptiles.

Samuel Sheppard

Professor of Microbial Genomics and Evolution & Tutorial Fellow of St Anne’s College

sam sheppard

Sam joins the Department having held professorships in Swansea University Medical School  and the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath. Sam formerly worked in the Department of Zoology as a postdoctoral researcher and Wellcome Trust Fellow (2009-2014) and now runs a multidisciplinary laboratory focussing on the use of genomics/bioinformatics and phenotypic studies to address complex questions in the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of microbes.

Zoonotic pathogens and the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria are among the greatest threats to human and animal health. Sam will join the new Biology Department and the Ineos Oxford Institute with the aim of using fundamental evolutionary and ecological theory to address consequential questions in pathogen emergence and spread.