Dr Martin Wilkes

Senior Lecturer
School of Life Sciences
Dr Martin Wilkes



As an ecologist with an industry background in data science, I am interested in data-driven explanations and predictions of biodiversity change. Utilising large (river basin to global) scale datasets, ecological theory, statistical programming and high performance computing, my mission is to support the environmental science and management communities in finding solutions to the challenges of maintaining biodiversity, food production and water security in a changing world. My research interests include Ecology | Biodiversity Science | Fisheries | eDNA metabarcoding | Biogeography | Metacommunity theory | Artificial Intelligence | Machine Learning | Species Distribution Modelling | Research Software Development

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Computational Data Analysis: R for Life Sciences (BS231)

  • Issues in Biomolecular Science (BS304)

  • Freshwater Ecology (BS352)

  • Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology (BS708)

  • Data Analysis and Visualisation (BS709)

  • Data Analysis or Voluntary Placement Programme (Work Based Learning) (BS711)

  • Research Project in Life Sciences (BS832)

  • Employability Skills for the Biosciences (BS211)


Journal articles (38)

Mckenzie, M., Brooks, A., Callisto, M., Collins, AL., Durkota, JM., Death, RG., Jones, I., Linares, MS., Matthaei, CD., Monk, WA., Murphy, JF., Wagenhoff, A., Wilkes, M., Wood, PJ. and Mathers, KL., (2024). Freshwater invertebrate responses to fine sediment stress: a multi-continent perspective. Global Change Biology. 30 (1), e17084-

Wilkes, M., Mungee, M., Naura, M., Bell, V. and Brown, L., (2024). Predicting nature recovery for river restoration planning and ecological assessment: A case study from England, 1991-2042. River Research and Applications: an international journal devoted to river research and management

Brown, LE., Khamis, K., Wilkes, M., Blaen, P., Brittain, JE., Carrivick, JL., Fell, S., Friberg, N., Füreder, L., Gislason, GM., Hainie, S., Hannah, DM., James, WHM., Lencioni, V., Olafsson, JS., Robinson, CT., Saltveit, SJ., Thompson, C. and Milner, AM., (2023). Author Correction: Functional diversity and community assembly of river invertebrates show globally consistent responses to decreasing glacier cover. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 7 (3), 472-476

Maulida, S., Eriani, K., Fadli, N., Kocabaş, FK., Siti-Azizah, MN., Wilkes, M. and Muchlisin, ZA., (2023). Effect of type and concentration of cryoprotectant on the motility, viability, and fertility of climbing perch Anabas testudineus Bloch, 1792 (Pisces: Anabantidae) sperm. Theriogenology. 201, 24-29

Muchlisin, ZA., Afriani, D., Eriani, K., Hasri, I., Nur, FM., Maulida, S., Handayani, LS., Fadli, N., Kocabas, FK., Siti-Azizah, MN. and Wilkes, M., (2023). Improvement of Sperm Quality of the Depik Fish, Rasbora tawarensis, After Cryopreservation Using Antioxidant. Cryoletters. 44 (1), 13-19

Laini, A., Stubbington, R., Beermann, AJ., Burgazzi, G., Datry, T., Viaroli, P., Wilkes, M., Zizka, VMA., Saccò, M. and Leese, F., (2023). Dissecting biodiversity: assessing the taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic structure of an insect metacommunity in a river network using morphological and metabarcoding data. The European Zoological Journal. 90 (1), 320-332

Wilkes, M., Carrivick, J., Castella, E., Ilg, C., Cauvy-Fraunie, S., Fell, S., Fureder, L., Huss, M., James, W., Lencioni, V., Robinson, C. and Brown, L., (2023). Glacier retreat reorganises river habitats leaving refugia for Alpine invertebrate biodiversity poorly protected. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 7 (6), 841-851

McKenzie, M., England, J., Foster, I. and Wilkes, M., (2022). Evaluating the performance of taxonomic and trait-based biomonitoring approaches for fine sediment in the UK. Ecological Indicators. 134, 108502-108502

McKenzie, M., England, J., Foster, IDL. and Wilkes, MA., (2022). Abiotic predictors of fine sediment accumulation in lowland rivers. International Journal of Sediment Research. 37 (1), 128-137

Nur, FM., Batubara, AS., Fadli, N., Rizal, S., Siti-Azizah, MN., Wilkes, M. and Muchlisin, ZA., (2022). Lernaea cyprinacea Linnaeus, 1758 (Copepoda: Lernaeidae) infection on Betta rubra Perugia, 1893 (Anabantiformes: Osphronemidae) from Aceh Province, Indonesia. Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária. 31 (1), e020421-

Amir, F., Muchlisin, ZA., Nur, FM., Fadli, N., Siti-Azizah, MN., Wilkes, M., Tang, UM., Hasan, B., Batubara, AS., Kocabas, FK. and Marimuthu, K., (2022). Effect of increasing water temperature on the physiology and gill histology of Barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Pisces, Perciformes) fingerlings. International Aquatic Research. 14 (4), 263-273

Eagle, LJB., Milner, AM., Klaar, MJ., Carrivick, JL., Wilkes, M. and Brown, LE., (2021). Extreme flood disturbance effects on multiple dimensions of river invertebrate community stability. Journal of Animal Ecology. 90 (9), 2135-2146

Batubara, AS., Yulianto, D., Muhammadar, AA., Dewiyanti, I., Siti‐Azizah, MN., Efizon, D., Wilkes, M., Fadli, N. and Muchlisin, ZA., (2021). Skeletal structure as taxonomic tool for identification of mullet species (Teleostei: Mugilidae) from Aceh waters, Indonesia. Journal of Applied Ichthyology. 37 (5), 697-705

England, J., Angelopoulos, N., Cooksley, S., Dodd, J., Gill, A., Gilvear, D., Johnson, M., Naura, M., O’Hare, M., Tree, A., Wheeldon, J. and Wilkes, MA., (2021). Best Practices for Monitoring and Assessing the Ecological Response to River Restoration. Water. 13 (23), 3352-3352

Batubara, AS., Muchlisin, ZA., Efizon, D., Elvyra, R., Fadli, N., Rizal, S., Siti-Azizah, MN. and Wilkes, M., (2021). DNA barcoding (COI genetic marker) revealed hidden diversity of Cyprinid fish (Barbonymus spp.) from Aceh Waters, Indonesia. Biharean Biologist. 15 (1), 39-47

Wilkes, MA., Mckenzie, M., Naura, M., Allen, L., Morris, M., Van De Wiel, M., Dumbrell, AJ., Bani, A., Lashford, C., Lavers, T. and England, J., (2021). Defining Recovery Potential in River Restoration: A Biological Data-Driven Approach. Water. 13 (23), 3339-3339

Maulida, S., Eriani, K., Nur, FM., Fadli, N., Batubara, AS., Muhammadar, AA., Siti-Azizah, MN., Wilkes, M. and Muchlisin, ZA., (2021). Effect of cryoprotectant on the motility, viability, fertilization, and DNA integrity of naleh fish Barbonymus sp. (Cyprinidae) sperm. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science. 58, e168702-e168702

Wilkes, MA., Edwards, F., Jones, JI., Murphy, JF., England, J., Friberg, N., Hering, D., Poff, NL., Usseglio‐Polatera, P., Verberk, WCEP., Webb, J. and Brown, LE., (2020). Trait‐based ecology at large scales: Assessing functional trait correlations, phylogenetic constraints and spatial variability using open data. Global Change Biology. 26 (12), 7255-7267

Gan, WY., Sulaiman, N., Law, LS., Zalbahar, N., Ahmad Fuzi, SF. and Wilkes, MA., (2020). Exploration of Food-Seeking Behaviour, Food Preparation, and Restrictions to Sufficient Food among the Jahai Sub-Tribe (Indigenous People) in Gerik, Malaysia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17 (1), 348-348

Muchlisin, ZA., Sarah, PI., Aldila, DF., Eriani, K., Hasri, I., Batubara, AS., Nur, FM., Mustaqim, M., Muthmainnah, CR., Abinawanto, A. and Wilkes, M., (2020). Effect of Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and egg yolk on sperm motility, fertility and hatching rates of depikRasbora tawarensis(Pisces: Cyprinidae) eggs after short‐term cryopreservation. Aquaculture Research. 51 (4), 1700-1705

Nur, FM., Batubara, AS., Eriani, K., Tang, UM., Muhammadar, AA., Siti-Azizah, MN., Wilkes, M., Fadli, N., Rizal, S. and Muchlisin, ZA., (2020). Effect of water temperature on the physiological responses in Betta Rubra, Perugia 1893 (Pisces: Osphronemidae). International Aquatic Research. 12 (3), 209-218

Wilkes, MA., Bennett, J., Burbi, S., Charlesworth, S., Dehnen-Schmutz, K., Rayns, F., Schmutz, U., Smith, B., Tilzey, M., Trenchard, L. and Van De Wiel, M., (2020). Making Way for Trees? Changes in Land-Use, Habitats and Protected Areas in Great Britain under “Global Tree Restoration Potential”. Sustainability. 12 (14), 5845-5845

McKenzie, M., Mathers, KL., Wood, PJ., England, J., Foster, I., Lawler, D. and Wilkes, M., (2020). Potential physical effects of suspended fine sediment on lotic macroinvertebrates. Hydrobiologia. 847 (3), 697-711

Brown, LE., Aspray, KL., Ledger, ME., Mainstone, C., Palmer, SM., Wilkes, M. and Holden, J., (2019). Sediment deposition from eroding peatlands alters headwater invertebrate biodiversity. Global Change Biology. 25 (2), 602-619

García‐Girón, J., Wilkes, M., Fernández‐Aláez, M. and Fernández‐Aláez, C., (2019). Processes structuring macrophyte metacommunities in Mediterranean ponds: Combining novel methods to disentangle the role of dispersal limitation, species sorting and spatial scales. Journal of Biogeography. 46 (3), 646-656

Birnie‐Gauvin, K., Franklin, P., Wilkes, M. and Aarestrup, K., (2019). Moving beyond fitting fish into equations: Progressing the fish passage debate in the Anthropocene. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29 (7), 1095-1105

Wilkes, MA., Gittins, JR., Mathers, KL., Mason, R., Casas‐Mulet, R., Vanzo, D., Mckenzie, M., Murray‐Bligh, J., England, J., Gurnell, A. and Jones, JI., (2019). Physical and biological controls on fine sediment transport and storage in rivers. WIREs Water. 6 (2)

Colin, N., Villéger, S., Wilkes, M., de Sostoa, A. and Maceda-Veiga, A., (2018). Functional diversity measures revealed impacts of non-native species and habitat degradation on species-poor freshwater fish assemblages. Science of The Total Environment. 625, 861-871

Brown, LE., Khamis, K., Wilkes, M., Blaen, P., Brittain, JE., Carrivick, JL., Fell, S., Friberg, N., Füreder, L., Gislason, GM., Hainie, S., Hannah, DM., James, WHM., Lencioni, V., Olafsson, JS., Robinson, CT., Saltveit, SJ., Thompson, C. and Milner, AM., (2018). Functional diversity and community assembly of river invertebrates show globally consistent responses to decreasing glacier cover. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2 (2), 325-333

England, J. and Wilkes, MA., (2018). Does river restoration work? Taxonomic and functional trajectories at two restoration schemes. Science of The Total Environment. 618, 961-970

Wilkes, M., Baumgartner, L., Boys, C., Silva, LGM., O'Connor, J., Jones, M., Stuart, I., Habit, E., Link, O. and Webb, JA., (2018). Fish‐Net: Probabilistic models for fishway planning, design and monitoring to support environmentally sustainable hydropower. Fish and Fisheries. 19 (4), 677-697

Wilkes, MA., Mckenzie, M. and Webb, JA., (2018). Fish passage design for sustainable hydropower in the temperate Southern Hemisphere: an evidence review. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 28 (1), 117-135

Link, O., Sanhueza, C., Arriagada, P., Brevis, W., Laborde, A., González, A., Wilkes, M. and Habit, E., (2017). The fish Strouhal number as a criterion for hydraulic fishway design. Ecological Engineering. 103, 118-126

Wilkes, MA., Enders, EC., Silva, AT., Acreman, M. and Maddock, I., (2017). Position choice and swimming costs of juvenile Atlantic salmon salmo salar in turbulent flow. Journal of Ecohydraulics. 2 (1), 16-27

Laborde, A., González, A., Sanhueza, C., Arriagada, P., Wilkes, M., Habit, E. and Link, O., (2016). Hydropower Development, Riverine Connectivity, and Non-sport Fish Species: criteria for Hydraulic Design of Fishways. River Research and Applications. 32 (9), 1949-1957

Wilkes, MA., Maddock, I., Link, O. and Habit, E., (2016). A Community-Level, Mesoscale Analysis of Fish Assemblage Structure in Shoreline Habitats of a Large River Using Multivariate Regression Trees. River Research and Applications. 32 (4), 652-665

Lawler, DM. and Wilkes, MA., (2016). Towards Improved Fluvial Sediment Impact Assessment (FSIA) approaches within Environmental Impact Assessments. Hrvatski geografski glasnik/Croatian Geographical Bulletin. 77 (02), 7-31

Wilkes, MA., Neverman, AJ., Casas-Mulet, R., Adeva-Bustos, A., McCluskey, AH., Ouellet, V., Vanzo, D., Franklin, PA. and Silva, AT., (2016). Early careers on ecohydraulics: challenges, opportunities and future directions. Journal of Ecohydraulics. 1 (1-2), 102-107

Book chapters (1)

Wilkes, MA., Maddock, I., Visser, F. and Acreman, MC., (2013). Incorporating Hydrodynamics into Ecohydraulics: The Role of Turbulence in the Swimming Performance and Habitat Selection of Stream‐Dwelling Fish. In: Ecohydraulics: An Integrated Approach. Wiley. 7- 30. 9780470976005

Conferences (2)

Wilkes, MA., Webb, JA., Pompeu, PS., Silva, LGM., Vowles, AS., Baker, CF., Franklin, P., Link, O., Habit, E. and Kemp, PS., (2019). Not just a migration problem: Metapopulations, habitat shifts, and gene flow are also important for fishway science and management

Wilkes, MA., Mckenzie, M., Murphy, JF. and Chadd, RP., (2017). Assessing the Mechanistic Basis for Fine Sediment Biomonitoring: Inconsistencies among the Literature, Traits and Indices

Grants and funding


Mapping Aquatic Resources and Risks in Kenya�s largest river basin (MARRK)

Academy of Medical Sciences

Aiming for Nature Recovery: Data Science to Inform Biodiversity Conservation and Restoration

Biodiversify Ltd

Extending the impact of Landscape Decisions research on UK freshwater ecological monitoring

University of Leicester (Funder)


Beyond �Good Ecological Status�: Making better use of freshwaters as sentinels of landscape functioning (BeyondGES)

University of Leicester (Funder)



Colchester Campus