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Prof. Richard Wadsworth
Director of Research

Prof. Richard Wadsworth primary professional role is the provision of advice on statistics and numerical methods particularly spatial data and the analysis of “messy” data. His research covers a range of topics from land cover mapping through to health statistics.

His interest in Sierra Leone started in 1981 where he was the “swamp development officer” for the Magbosi Integrated Agricultural Development Project until 1984. Immediately after the signing of the peace deal in 2002 he was able to win funds from the Darwin Initiative for a two year “technology transfer” project teaching the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems and Remote Sensing using satellite imagery to staff and graduate students at Fourah Bay College. Most of this teaching was based on the book he co-authored with Jo Treweek titled “GIS for Ecologists”. After nearly 20 years with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, including 15 as head of the GIS section and as acting as biometrician he took an “early voluntary exit” in November 2011 and moved to Sierra Leone as an Adjunct Professor at Njala University. While based at Njala he has been successful with a third proposal to the Darwin Initiative (alternative livelihoods for communities affected by the new marine Protected Areas), from the German Ministry of Agriculture (on under-utilized species) and EPSRC (on “renewable energy for food processing”). He has also contributed to several shorter-term projects on the environment (land use mapping, biodiversity assessments), health (blood pressure among undergraduates), nutrient sensitive agriculture and renewable energy. He co-supervised Dr Okoni-Williams in his PhD on biodiversity and nutrient cycling in the bush-fallow ecosystem and am currently co-supervising several PhD students; John Koroma on the sustainability (or otherwise) of the charcoal business in Sierra Leone, Ibrahim Bakarr and Jonathan Johnney on biodiversity (rodents and bats) and Janatu Saidu on indigenous technical knowledge and the genetics of cassava. Using my own resources.  He is attempting to restore two badly degraded sites at Masiaka (upland) and Mafuntha (lowland).

He has co-authored 45 journal papers, a book on Geographic Information Systems and many contract reports; according to Google Scholar my h* = 24

Contact Info
BSc (Hons), Land Surveying Science, Newcastle University, 1981.
MSc, Irrigation Engineering, Southampton University, 1986. Thesis “Estimating stream flow in catchments having limited data”
PhD, Newcastle University, 1995. Thesis “Integrating environmental impact assessment and land use planning using a decision support system”
MBA (Distinction), Loughborough University, 2001. Thesis “The tendering game: can the schizophrenic organization survive in the incestuous market?”

Dr Richard Wadsworth – Career History

2012-date Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Environmental Science, Njala University, Sierra Leone

2014-2015 Research Fellow, School Environment, Energy and Agri-Food, Cranfield University, UK

2008-2011 Mathematical Modeller / Biometrician, Shore Section, CEH Lancaster, UK

2007-2008 Data Scientist, Environmental Informatics Programme, CEH Lancaster, UK

1994-2006 Head GIS Group, CEH Monks Wood, UK       

1989-1994 Research Associate, NELUP, Newcastle University, UK

1987-1989 Research Associate, CLUWRR, Newcastle University, UK

1986-1987 Research Assistant, Hydraulics Research Ltd. Wallingford, UK. 

1984-1985 Land surveyor, Longdin & Browning. Surveys in Kuwait, Sudan and Oman.

1981-1984 Swamp Development Officer, Magbosi IADP, Sierra Leone

Refereed Journal Papers (12 most cited in Google Scholar)

Angold PG, Sadler JP, Hill MO, Pullin A, Rushton S, Austin K, Small E, Wood B, Wadsworth R.A., Sanderson R, Thompson K. 2006. Biodiversity in urban habitat patches. Science of the Total Environment 360: 196-204 (cited by 285).

Collingham, Y.C., Wadsworth, R.A., Willis, S.G., Huntley, B. & Hulme, P.E.  2000. Predicting the spatial distribution of alien riparian species:  issues of spatial scale? Journal of Applied Ecology 37 13-27 (cited by 208)

Wadsworth R.A., Collingham Y.C., Willis S.G., Huntley B & Hulme P.E. 2000. Simulating the spread and management of alien riparian weeds: are they out of control? Journal of Applied Ecology 37 28-38 (cited by 162)

Comber A.J., Fisher P.F. & Wadsworth R.A. 2005. What is land cover? Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 32(2) 199 – 209 (cited 126)

Gerard, F., Bugar, G., Gregir, M., Halada, L., Hazeu, G., Huitu, H., Kohler, R., Kolar, J., Luque, S., …, Wadsworth, R.A., Ziese H., 2010. Land cover change in Europe between 1950 to 2000 determined employing aerial photography. Progress in Physical Geography, 34(2) 183–205 (cited by 88)

Comber A.J., Fisher P.F. & Wadsworth R.A. 2004. Integrating land-cover data with different ontologies: identifying change from inconsistency International Journal of Geographic Information Science 18(7), 691-708 (cited by 85)

Arnot, C., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth R.A. & Wellens J., 2004. Landscape Metrics with Ecotones: pattern under uncertainty. Landscape Ecology 19 181-195 (cited by 79)

Comber A., Fisher P.F. & Wadsworth R.A. 2003. Actor-network theory: a suitable framework to understand how land cover mapping projects develop? Land Use Policy 20(4) 299-309 (cited by 67)

Fisher P.F., Arnot C., Wadsworth R.A. & Wellens J. 2006. Detecting change in vague interpretations of landscape. Ecological informatics 1(2) 163-178. (cited by 64)

Culshaw, M.G., Nathanail, C.P., Leeks, G.J.L., Alker,S., Bridge, D., Duffy,T.,  Fowler, D., Packman, J.C., Swetnam, R.,  Wadsworth, R.A, Wyatt, B. 2006.The role of web-based environmental information in urban planning – the environmental information system for planners. Science of the Total Environment. 360(1) 233-245 (cited by 62)

Cox R. Wadsworth R.A. & Thomson A.G. 2003. Long-term changes in salt marsh extent affected by channel deepening in a modified estuary. Continental Shelf Research. 23 (17) 1833-1846 (cited by 54)

Thomson A.G., Fuller R.M., Yates M.G., Brown S.L., Cox R. & Wadsworth R.A. 2003. The use of airborne remote sensing  for extensive mapping of inter-tidal sediments and saltmarshes in Eastern England. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 24(13) 2717-2737 (cited by 53)