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Dr Yoseph Araya

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr Yoseph Araya, is a Lecturer in Ecology & Environmental Sciences within the Ecosystems and Biodiversity Research discipline. 

Contact: Yoseph [dot] Araya [at] open [dot] ac [dot] uk

Research interests

My particular research interest is in the functional relationships between plants and their environment (particularly water and nutrients). I especially enjoy integrating experimental studies with field investigations. I also am an enthusiastic communicator of science and environmental education.

Some projects I have been involved include:

  • Soil Moisture gradients and biodiversity in the Cape Flora, Western Cape, South Africa: looking at niche segregation, plant coexistence, ecohydrological management, evolution of plant diversity; as well as plant and soil micobial diversity relationships e.g. UK, Spain

  • Environmental education for the public and engagement in science, including Citizen Science on water, plants, hedges ... e.g. iSpot and in more formal way paraecologists

  • Quantitative Ecology i.e. querying plant record databases for trends and also collaborating with statisticians to test new methods e.g. Foodplain Meadows management

  • Valuing of Ecosystem Services for multiple purposes and stakeholders for sustainable wholistic environmental management - as part of wholistic evaluation

  • ​Macadamia tree growth and nut production in response to provenance, agroclimatic zone and management practices with Neno Macadamia Trust and Emmanuel Zuza Jr.

Teaching interests

Prior to my role as a central academic, I have been an Associate Lecturer with the OU for a number of years, on various science, ecology and environmental science modules (from undergraduate to postgraduate) across faculties. I teach online, face-to-face and in the field, in addition to supporting research students. I particuarly enjoy modules that bridge across disciplines and involve approaches in technology-enhanced learning.

Some modules i have been involved are: Environmental Science (S206/SXF206), Biology of Survival (S295), Environmental Management (T219), Journey's in a changing Environment (U116), SXE390 (Science Project - Environment strand), Environment responding to change (SDT306). A free taster for SDT306 is entitled as 'Eating for the Environment'.

I write public education blogs at OU's OpenLearn website.

External collaborations

I have active collaborations with colleagues in other institutions within the UK as well as overseas e.g. Spain, Germany, Malawi, and South Africa.

I am an active and passionate member of our professional body, British Ecological Society and its special interest group of Ecology Teaching and Learning as well as public engagement. 

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.