President's Doctoral Scholar Award

Lee Dixon

Research Degree: PhD Planning and Landscape

Thesis Title: Critiquing the role of green infrastructure in promoting urban biodiversity

Scope of Research:

Cities are increasingly reported to be areas of high biodiversity but this is increasingly threatened by urbanisation and densification of cities as a greater number of houses and services are constructed to accommodate a growing human population. The installation of green infrastructure in cities has been reported to be beneficial for human health and the preservation of ecosystem services but it also has value as a means to promote urban biodiversity. This PhD research project will aim to assess how effective green infrastructure is as an urban planning asset for promoting biodiversity in cities and will aim to provide recommendations of how the quality of green infrastructure in cities may be improved to further promote biodiversity.

Brief Personal Biography:

I was born in November 1987, in the town of Macclesfield, Cheshire, approximately twenty five miles south of Manchester.

Academic Background:

  • MSc (by Research) Environmental and Climate Change (Distinction): Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BSc Geography (1st Class): Manchester Metropolitan University.

Your research interests:

  • The use and value of green infrastructure in conserving and promoting urban biodiversity.
  • The effects of compaction and densification on urban biodiversity
  • The use and value of land use complementation to promote urban biodiversity
  • Urban and Landscape Ecology.
  • Bird Ecology.


1) Why did you choose to do your research at the University of Manchester?

I’ve lived in the local vicinity of Manchester for my entire life and wanted to remain in the local area whilst I studied for my PhD. Throughout my time living in the area, I’ve been aware of the University of Manchester’s superb and revered stature as a research institute in the UK as well as the excellent Doctoral programmes that the University offers. As a result, the University of Manchester was my sole choice of institute of where I wanted to do my PhD.

2) How do you feel about being selected as one of the President’s Doctoral Scholars?

I was very pleased and excited to be selected as one of the President’s Doctoral Scholars and also deeply honoured. I believe that as one of these scholars I will have access to a great number of opportunities that will be absolutely indispensable for my career progression.

3) What are your career aspirations after completing your PhD?

When undertaking my Bachelor of Science degree and, in particular, my Master of Science degree I found the research element of these courses particularly fulfilling and rewarding and so this led me to make the decision to do a PhD. With this said, on completion of my Doctorate, I would certainly like to continue into an academic career and achieve a position where I’m able to conduct new and valuable research, and also communicate this research to others.

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