Dr Joseph E. Hawes

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Life Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Animal and environmental biology

Joseph is an ecologist focussing on tropical forest ecology, including the consequences of human disturbance and the sustainability of natural resource use. He is particularly interested in floodplain forest dynamics and fruit-frugivore interactions.

Projeto Médio Juruá
Google Scholar


Joseph has a broad background in tropical forest ecology, including the interaction networks between fruiting plants and vertebrate frugivores, and the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity. His PhD covered the floodplain ecology of western Brazilian Amazonia, examining the forest structure, phenology patterns and frugivore communities of flooded and unflooded forests, and compiled a synthesis of primate dietary studies from across Central and South America.

Joseph has conducted postdoctoral research at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Brazil, with Rede Amazônia Sustentável (RAS), on land-use change and sustainability, investigating the functional consequences of forest disturbance and recovery for fruit traits and seed dispersal services. He also continued research with Projeto Médio Juruá (PMJ) on the sustainable use and community management of natural resources and ecosystem services, including a postdoc position at the Universidade do Estado do Amazonas and ongoing collaborations with the Universidade Federal do Amazonas and University of East Anglia.

Research interests

  • Amazon floodplain forest ecology
  • Fruit-frugivore interactions
  • Ecosystem services and community-based resource management
  • Land-use change and anthropogenic disturbance

Joseph is a member of our Applied Ecology Research Group and our Behavioural Ecology Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

Joseph welcomes enquiries from prospective research students in the areas of his research interests and expertise.

Find out more about our Biology PhD including our exciting PhD project opportunities.


  • PhD, Tropical Forest Ecology, University of East Anglia
  • MSc, Applied Ecology & Conservation, University of East Anglia
  • BSc, Biology, University of Nottingham

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, British Ecological Society (BES)
  • Member, Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI)
  • Member, Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Principal Investigator, National Geographic Society, 2018-2019, $29,356 - Community-based conservation of Arapaima gigas
  • Postdoctoral research grant, Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), 2015-2015 - Conservation genetics and sustainable management of freshwater fisheries.
  • Postdoctoral research grant, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), 2014-2015 - Functional consequences of forest disturbance in eastern Amazonia.
  • Principal Investigator, British Ecological Society, 2006-2007, £2,500 - Frugivore foraging behaviour and fig seed dispersal in Ankarana, Madagascar.
  • Principal Investigator, The Colombus Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Fund, 2006-2007, $2,000 - The value of forest corridors for Amazonian bird conservation.

Selected recent publications

Jones, T., Hawes, J.E., Norton, G.W. and Hawkins, D.M., 2019. Effect of protection status on mammal richness and abundance in Afromontane forests of the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania. Biological Conservation, 229, pp.78-84.

Barnett, A.A., Hawes, J.E., et al. 2018. Survey and Study Methods for Flooded Habitat Primatology. In: Nowak, K., Barnett. A.A. & Matsudo, I (Eds.) Primates in Flooded Habitats: Ecology and Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Campos-Silva, J.V., Hawes, J.E., Andrade, P.C.M. and Peres, C.A., 2018. Unintended multispecies co-benefits of an Amazonian community-based conservation programme. Nature Sustainability, 1(11), pp.650-656.

Alves-Pinto, H.N., Hawes, J.E., Newton, P., Feltran-Barbieri, R. and Peres, C.A., 2018. Economic impacts of Payments for Environmental Services on livelihoods of agro-extractivist communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Ecological Economics, 152, pp.378-388.

Rumeu, B., Sheath, D.J., Hawes, J.E. and Ings, T.C., 2018. Zooming into plant-flower visitor networks: an individual trait-based approach. PeerJ, 6, e5618.

Leite, G.A., Farias, I.P., Gonçalves, A.S., Hawes, J.E. and Peres, C.A., 2018. Coarse- and fine-scale patterns of distribution and habitat selection places an Amazonian floodplain curassow in double jeopardy. PeerJ, 6, e4617.

Ings, T.C. and Hawes, J.E., 2018. The history of ecological networks. In: Dáttilo, W. & Rico-Gray, V. (Eds.). Ecological Networks in the Tropics. Cham: Springer.

Hawes, J.E. and Peres, C.A., 2017. Forest structure, fruit production and frugivore communities in terra firme and várzea forests of the Médio Juruá. In: Myster, R.W. (Ed.). Forest Structure, Function and Dynamics in Western Amazonia. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hudson, L.N., Newbold, T., Hawes, J.E., et al., 2017. The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity in Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology and Evolution, 7, pp.145-188.

Nichols, E., Peres, C.A., Hawes, J.E. and Naeem, S., 2016. Multitrophic diversity effects of network degradation. Ecology and Evolution, 6, pp.4936-4946.

Hawes, J.E. and Peres, C.A., 2016. Patterns of plant phenology in Amazonian seasonally flooded and unflooded forests. Biotropica, 48, pp.465-475.

Sá-Oliveira, J.C., Hawes, J.E., Isaac-Nahum, V.J., and Peres, C.A., 2015. Upstream and downstream responses of fish assemblages to an Eastern Amazonian hydroelectric dam. Freshwater Biology, 60, pp.2037-2050.

Hawes, J.E. and Peres, C.A., 2014. Fruit-frugivore interactions in Amazonian seasonally flooded and unflooded forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 30, pp.381-399.

Hawes, J.E. and Peres, C.A., 2014., Ecological correlates of trophic status and frugivory in neotropical primates. Oikos, 123, pp.365-377.

Hudson, L.N., Newbold, T., Hawes, J.E., et al., 2014. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution, 4, pp.4701-4735.

Pfeifer M., Lefebvre V., Hawes J.E., et al., 2014. BIOFRAG – A new database for analysing BIOdiversity responses to forest FRAGmentation. Ecology and Evolution, 4, pp.1524-1537.

Hawes, J.E., Calouro, A.M. and Peres, C.A., 2013. Sampling effort in neotropical primate diet studies: collective gains and underlying geographic and taxonomic biases. International Journal of Primatology, 34, pp.1081-1104.

Sewall, B.J., Freestone, A.L., Hawes, J.E. and Andriamanarina, E., 2013. Size-energy relationships in ecological communities. PLoS ONE, 8, e68657.

Hawes, J.E., Peres, C.A., Riley, L.B. and Hess, L.L., 2012. Landscape-scale variation in structure and biomass of Amazonian seasonally flooded and unflooded forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 281, pp.163-176.

Barlow, J., Louzada, J., Parry, L., Hernández, M.I., Hawes, J.E., Peres, C.A., Vaz-de-Mello, F.Z. and Gardner, T.A., 2010. Improving the design and management of forest strips in human-dominated tropical landscapes: a field test on Amazonian dung beetles. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, pp.779–788.

Hawes, J.E., da Silva Motta, C., Overal, W.L., Barlow, J., Gardner, T.A, and Peres, C.A., 2009. Diversity and composition of Amazonian moths in primary, secondary and plantation forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 25, pp.281-300.

Hawes, J.E., Barlow, J., Gardner, T.A. and Peres, C.A., 2008. The value of forest strips for understorey birds in an Amazonian plantation landscape. Biological Conservation, 141, pp.2262-2278.

Gardner, T.A., Barlow, J., Hawes, J.E., et al., 2008. The cost-effectiveness of biodiversity surveys in tropical forests. Ecology Letters, 11, pp.139–150.

Barlow, J., Gardner, T.A., Hawes, J.E., et al., 2007. Quantifying the biodiversity value of tropical primary, secondary and plantation forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104, pp.18555-18560.

Recent presentations and conferences

Hawes, J.E., Campos-Silva, J.V. and Peres, C.A., 2018. Community-based management and the sustainability of Amazonian freshwater fisheries. Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) Symposium. University of East Anglia, 9-13 July 2018.

Hawes, J.E., Barlow, J., Berenguer, E., Gardner, T.A. & Viera, I.C.G., 2016. Consequences of forest disturbance for fruit functional traits in eastern Amazonia. Invited speaker for Organised Oral Session at Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting. Fort Lauderdale, USA. 7-12 August 2016.

Hawes, J.E., Silva, J.V.C. & Peres, C.A., 2016. Landscape-scale sustainability of Amazonian fisheries. Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). Montpellier, France. 19-23 June 2016.

Hawes, J.E., 2014. Wood density, phenology and fruit frugivore interactions in flooded and unflooded forests. World’s Large Rivers: 2nd International Conference. Manaus, Brazil. 21-25 July 2014.

Media experience

‘Community-based conservation offers hope for Amazon’s giant South American turtle’, Mongabay, January 2019.

'Fruit-mad South American monkeys eat 50 varieties a day', BBC News, December 2013.