Dr Tom Barker

Dr Tom Barker

Lead Academic

Senior Lecturer


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An environmental activist and observer of nature since childhood, Tom has spent a life-time trying to find out how the world works. He has a first class degree in biology and a PhD in ecology, has stood for parliament twice and in local elections many times, and has given dozens of public talks about the environment, sustainability and politics. He was associate editor (with John Papworth) of Fourth World Review and editor of Clean Slate, and has edited and written articles, reports and books for scientific audiences and government. He worked for fifteen years in research and teaching at The University of Liverpool and is a visiting lecturer at the University of Chester and Yale University, Connecticut.

Research Interests

Tom is a scientist who studies the complex interactions that govern ecosystem functioning in response to environmental drivers. This involves the, often non-linear, responses of organisms and ecosystems to physical and chemical changes, the restoration of damaged environments, and the links between biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services.

Teaching Activities

Lecturing, tutoring for on-site and distance learning students, thesis supervision.

Relevant publications

  • Barker T. and Fisher J. (2018). Ecosystem health as the basis for human health. Chapter 19 in: Selendy J. (editor). Water and Sanitation Related Diseases and the Changing Environment: Challenges, Interventions and Preventive Measures. Wiley-Blackwell and Horizon International, New Haven, CT.
  • North P., Nurse A. and Barker T. (2017). The neoliberalisation of climate? Progressing climate policy under austerity urbanism. Environment and Planning A, 0308518X16686353.
  • Kumar P., Thiaw I. and Barker T. [editors] (2013) Values, Payments and Institutions for Ecosystem Management: A Developing Country Perspective, (UNEP), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
  • Barker T. (Contributory author) in: Hooker-Stroud A., Oakley H., Shepherd A. (editors) (2013). Zero Carbon Britain, Rethinking the Future, Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth.
  • North P. and Barker T. (2011). Building the Low Carbon Economy on Merseyside. Future proofing the city for future climate and fuel price uncertainty. ESRC, Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce & Groundwork Merseyside. School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool.
  • Frid C., Ellis G., Lindenbaum K., Barker T. and Plater A. (2011). Marine Planning and Management to Maintain Ecosystem Goods and Services. Chapter 4 in: Kidd S., Plater A. and Frid C. (editors) The Ecosystem Approach to Marine Planning and Management. Earthscan, London.
  • Stamp M., Hewitt D., Blackbird S., Connor L., McAllister H., Henderson A., Barker T. and Marrs R. (2011). Assessing the restoration potential of an ex-agricultural amenity site. Aspects of Applied Biology 108 19-27.
  • Hewitt D., Stamp M., Barker T. and Marrs R. (2011). The potential use of Biochar for ameliorating soil fertility in ecological restoration. Aspects of Applied Biology 108 29-36.
  • Barker T., Irfanullah H.Md. and Moss B. (2010) Micro-scale structure in the chemistry and biology of a shallow lake. Freshwater Biology 55(6) 1145-1163.
  • Elmqvist T., Maltby E., Barker T., Mortimer M., Perrings C., Aronson J., DeGroot R., Fitter A., Mace G., Norberg J., Sousa Pinto I. and Ring I. (2010). Biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services, Chapter Two in: TEEB, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Ecological and Economic Foundations. Edited by Pushpam Kumar. Earthscan, London and Washington.
  • Daniel Hering, Alexandra Haidekker, Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber, Tom Barker, Laetitia Buisson, Wolfram Graf, Gael Grenouillet, Armin Lorenz, Leonard Sandin & Sonja Stendera. (2010).  Indicators for the response of freshwater ecosystems and assemblages to climate change. In: Kernan M., Moss B. and Battarbee R.W. (editors) Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Ecosystems. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Fisher J., Barker T., James C. and Clarke S. (2009). Water quality in chronically nutrient-rich lakes: the example of the Shropshire-Cheshire meres. Freshwater Reviews 2(1) 79-99.
  • Maltby E. and Barker T. [editors], (2009). The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Baker C.J., Barker T.(editor), Bishop K.H., Blackwell M.S.A., Clément B., Digby U.(editor), Hogan D.V., Maltby E.(editor), McInnes R.J., Papadimos D., Scholz M., Schulz-Zunkel C., Seferlis M., Simpson M.,  Tellam J., Verhoeven J.T.A., Verhoeven M.L. and Aidoud A. (2009). Functional Assessment of Wetlands: Towards Evaluation of Ecosystem Services.  Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK.
    Maltby E., Barker T. and Linstead C. (2009). Development of a European methodology for the functional assessment of wetlands. pp 513-544 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Barker T., Crooks S. and Schutten J. (2009). Wetlands for conservation and recreation use in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads. pp 944-960 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.Barker T. and Maltby E.  (2009). The dynamics of wetlands.  pp115-119 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
    Barker T. and Maltby E.  (2009). Using wetland functioning. pp 349-356 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Barker T.  (2009). Sustainable wetlands in a global context.  821-828 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Maltby E. and Barker T.  (2009). Wetlands for the future.  983-1002 in: Maltby E. and Barker T. (editors) The Wetlands Handbook.  Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Barker T., Mageean A., Tweed J., Gillie M., Edwards G., Alexander R. and Bulmer P. (2009). Vision 2050: A Sustainable future for Cheshire West and Chester.  Report for Cheshire West and Chester Authority, Chester, UK.
  • Barker T., Hatton K., O’Connor M., Connor L. and Moss B. (2008). Effects of nitrate load on submerged plant biomass and species richness: results of a mesocosm experiment. Fundamental and Applied Limnology/Archiv für Hydrobiologie 173(2) 89–100.
  • Barker T., Hatton K., O’Connor M., Connor L., Bagnell L. and Moss B. (2008). Control of ecosystem state in a shallow, brackish lake: implications for the conservation of stonewort communities. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 18(3) 221-240. 
  • Linstead C., Barker T., Maltby E., Kumar P., Mortimer M., Plater A. and Wood M.  (2008).  Reviewing targets and Indicators for the Ecosystem Approach.  Report for Defra NR0119.  SWIMMER, University of Liverpool.
  • Jin F Wang,  Guo D Cheng,  Yi G Gao,  Ai H Long,  Zhong M Xu,  Xin Li,  Hongyan Chen and Tom Barker. (2007).  Optimal water resource allocation in arid and semi-arid areas. Water Resources Management. 22(2) 239-258.
  • Fisher J. and Barker T.  (2007).  Current knowledge of the relative concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in the meres of Cheshire and Shropshire.  Report No. FST19/04/076 for Natural England.  The University of Liverpool, Liverpool.
  • Barker T., Bonnett S.A., Hogan D.V. and Maltby E. (2007). An Examination of the Potential for Carbon Sequestration Using Changes in Land Use Management.  Report for the West Country Rivers Trust.  University of Liverpool, UK.
  • Moss B., Barker T., Stephen D., Williams A.E., Balayla D.J., Beklioglu M. & Carvalho L. (2005). Consequences of reduced nutrient loading on a lake system in a lowland catchment: deviations from the norm? Freshwater Biology 50 1687-1705.
  • Barker T. and Putwain P. (1999).  Waste Management in the North-West: a feasibility study for the establishment of a Waste Management Research Centre at the University of Liverpool.  Report for  the University of Liverpool, UK.