Areas of Expertise: Animal and environmental biology
Olivia is a community ecologist interested in the development of nature-based solutions that regenerate biodiversity and sustain ecosystem functioning.
Olivia joined ARU in 2016. Prior to this, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of York, where her research evaluated the impacts of tropical deforestation and agricultural land-use on biodiversity in East Africa. She completed her PhD at the University of Nottingham under supervision of Professor Francis Gilbert and Dr Markus Eichhorn. Her postgraduate research explored how traditional Bedouin farming practises influence biodiversity and ecosystem services in South Sinai, Egypt.
In 2020, Olivia became Vice Chair of the Cambridge Conservation Forum (CCF) Committee and is committed to building research collaborations between ARU academics (students and staff) and conservation organisations. Her current projects aim to enhance the sustainability of global food production systems through the incentivisation of dryland agroforestry across the Middle East and Northern Africa; the development of novel organic vermi-culture composts in Malawi; and, collaborations with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds to inform the use of novel cropping practises on their exemplar arable farm in Cambridgeshire.
Olivia is registered severely sight impaired and is blind.
Olivia welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students in the areas of her research interests.
2020 - Principal investigator – School of Life Sciences, ARU - Project title: “Growing Hope: Could Organic Vermi-compost Fertiliser End Soil Degradation in Malawi?” – Funding: Project Development Grant from Global Challenge Research Fund.
Norfolk, O., and Dathe, H.H. (2019) Filling the Egyptian pollinator knowledge-gap: checklist of flower-visiting insects in South Sinai, with new records for Egypt. Beiträge zur Entomologie = Contributions to Entomology, 69(1), pp.175-184.
Norfolk, O., Gilbert, F. and Eichhorn, M.P. (2018) Alien honeybees increase pollination risks for range‐restricted plants. Diversity and Distributions, 24(5), pp.705-713.
Norfolk, O., Jung, M., Platts, P.J., Malaki, P., Odeny, D. and Marchant, R. (2017) Birds in the matrix: the role of agriculture in avian conservation in the Taita Hills, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology, 55(4), pp.530-540.
Norfolk, O., Asale, A., Temesgen, T., Denu, D., Platts, P.J., Marchant, R. and Yewhalaw, D. (2017) Diversity and composition of tropical butterflies along an Afromontane agricultural gradient in the Jimma Highlands, Ethiopia. Biotropica, 49(3), pp.346-354.
Hudson, L. et al. (2017) The database of the Predicts (Projecting responses of ecological diversity in changing terrestrial systems) project. Ecology and Evolution, 7(1), pp.145-188.
Norfolk, O., Eichhorn, M.P. and Gilbert, F. (2016) Flowering ground vegetation benefits wild pollinators and fruit set of almond within arid smallholder orchards. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 9(3), pp.236-243.
Norfolk, O., Power, A., Eichhorn, M, Gilbert, F. (2014) Migratory bird species benefit from traditional agricultural gardens in arid South Sinai. Journal of Arid Environments, 114, 110-115.
Hudson, L. et al. (2014). The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution, 12, 1-35.
Norfolk, O., & Gilbert, F. (2014). Floral visitation rates to wild plants increase in the presence of traditional agriculture in arid South Sinai, Egypt. Journal of Arid Environments, 109, 83-87.
Norfolk, O., Eichhorn, M. & Gilbert, F. (2013) Traditional agricultural gardens conserve wild plants and functional richness in arid South Sinai. Basic and Applied Ecology, 14, 659-669.
Norfolk, O., Abdel-Dayem, M. & Gilbert, F. (2012) Rainwater harvesting and arthropod biodiversity within an arid agro-ecosystem. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environments, 162, 8-14.
Norfolk, O., Sadiki, L., Broughton, B., Oteino, M. & Nuttman, C. (2012) Tea Breaks: how flower visitors benefit from unplanned floral buffer strips in a Tanzanian tea plantation. African Journal of Ecology, 51, 380-384.
Norfolk, Eichhorn and Gilbert (2020) Sustainable agroforestry in a drier world: lessons from Sinai. Oral presentation accepted for ISCRAES 2020 (International Symposium on Climate-Resilient Agri-Environmental Systems), Dublin, Ireland.
Norfolk, Marchant et al. (2016) Tropical butterfly diversity across a forest-disturbance gradient in East Africa. Oral presentation at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Liverpool, UK.
Norfolk, Eichhorn and Gilbert (2014) Crop diversity & pollinator conservation: what can we learn from traditional systems? Oral presentation at Joint Annual Meeting of British Ecological Society and Société Française d’Ecologie. Lille, France.
Norfolk, Eichhorn and Gilbert (2014) Contrasting patterns of turnover in plants, pollinators and their interactions. Oral presentation at BES Macroecology Meeting, University of Nottingham, UK.
Norfolk 2013 Crop diversity and seasonal planting increase the resilience of plant-pollinator networks. Poster at Biodiversity Resilience Symposium, University of Oxford, UK.
Feb 2020: ARU and Cambridge Conservation Forum Joint Research Symposium. The first occurrence of an annual event designed to foster research collaboration between ARU Master’s students and conservation organisations.
National press coverage:
Norfolk, O. “Roadside wildflower meadows are springing up across the UK – and they’re helping wildlife in a big way” The Conversation. July 2019. 60,000 reads
Norfolk, O. “Keeping honeybees doesn’t save bees – or the environment” The Conversation. Sept 2018. 30,000 reads.