Dr Paul Elliott

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Animal & Environmental Biology

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Animal and Environmental Biology

Paul’s research focuses on the effects and control of aquatic invasive species and the behaviour of captive primates. He also organises a number of scientific outreach programmes for young people.

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Paul graduated from Cambridge University in 2000 and then gained his PhD investigating the biology, effects and control of one of the world’s most notorious invasive species, the zebra mussel. He joined ARU in 2005, and runs a number of modules including An Introduction to Animal Behaviour and Welfare and Vertebrate Biology.

Away from teaching, Paul continues to conduct research on invasive species, but his research has recently expanded to include investigations of the behaviour of captive primates, and the effects of oil palm plantations on invertebrate communities in Borneo. Every year, Paul runs a fieldtrip to Borneo, where students conduct projects on the effects of deforestation and monoculture.  

Paul is passionate about encouraging young people to study science. He’s organised a number of scientific outreach programmes, including for TeachFirst, the Sutton Trust, Anglia Ruskin University and Homerton College – and every year he organises a fiendish scientific mystery-solving activity at the Cambridge Science Festival. He’s also the Scientific Admissions Tutor for Homerton College, Cambridge, and a supervisor on the Evolution and Behaviour course at Cambridge University.

Research interests

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  • The ecology, effects and control of aquatic invasive species (particularly the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha)
  • The effects of captivity on primates (particularly the aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis) and their minimisation
  • The effects of deforestation and monoculture on Bornean invertebrate communities

Paul is a member of our Animal and Environment Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

  • The ecology, effects and control of aquatic invasive species
  • The effects of captivity on primates
  • The effects of deforestation and monoculture on Bornean invertebrate communities


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BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University
  • PhD, The zebra mussel in England: biology, impacts and control, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
  • BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, Clare College, University of Cambridge

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Scientific Admissions Tutor, Homerton College, Cambridge University
  • Bye-Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Consultant for the Water Research Centre and Cambridge Environmental Consultants: collaborative industrial consultancy regarding the effects and mitigation of zebra mussels at a number of water treatment facilities across England

Selected recent publications

Elliott. P., 2014. Teaching science through mystery solving. Networks, 17, pp.11-23.

Costa, R., Elliott, P., Aldridge, D.C. and Moggridge, G.M., 2011. Enhanced mortality of the biofouling zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, through the application of combined control agents. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 37(2), pp.272-278.

Elliott, P., Aldridge., D.C. and Moggridge., G.D., 2010. The development of micro-encapsulated toxins to control zebra mussels. In: Van der Velde, G., Rajagopal, S. and Bij de Vaate, A. (Eds.) The Zebra Mussel in Europe. London: Backhuys Publishers. pp.371-381.