Imperial College London

Mr Richard N Belcher

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Research Postgraduate



r.belcher19 Website




Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





I am a researcher, currently completing a PhD on how blue-space, crowding and biodiversity impact health outcomes from green space exposure, at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Environment and Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. My research is in collaboration with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and part of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

I have broad interests in quantifying urban greenspace and its benefits, including its extent, composition and structure and how these factors impact ecosystem services (such as health, the urban heat island effect mitigation and recreation), their economic value and biodiversity. To do so I have designed studies and collected primary data in the field using species and thermal surveys of plants and animals, and secondary data using large scale remote sensing, web scraping, open source and confidential government health and building data. The tools I use for this work include remote sensing, data preparation and spatial analysis with Google Earth Engine and R packages such as dplyr, tidyr, sf, sp raster and rgeos; and applying frequentist/machine learning statistical models to data also in R. I strive for my work to have impact beyond academia through outputs aimed at architects, policy-makers, planners and coverage in newspapers and on television. I have been a reviewer for the journals Environmental and Development Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Ecology and Evolution, Ecological Complexity and Journal of Urban Ecology

You can find more information about me on my website


  • Imperial College London - MRC Centre for Environment and HealthPhD Researcher Oct. 2019–Present
  • ETH Zurich - Future Cities Laboratory, SingaporeResearcherAug. 2016–April 2019
  • EnviroSolutions & Consulting (ESC), SingaporeEnvironmental ConsultantSept. 2014 – July 2016
  • National University of SingaporeMSc: Environmental ManagementSept. 2013 – Sept. 2014
  • Self Employed and Gavin Jones, United KingdomLandscape Maintenance OperativeMar. 2005 – July 2014
  • Bangor UniversityBSc (hons): ForestryOct. 2009 – June 2012

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Richards DR, Fung TK, Belcher RN, et al., 2020, Differential air temperature cooling performance of urban vegetation types in the tropics, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Vol:50, ISSN:1618-8667

Richards DR, Belcher RN, 2020, Global changes in urban vegetation cover, Remote Sensing, Vol:12, ISSN:2072-4292, Pages:23-23

Belcher R, Suen E, Menz S, et al., 2019, Shared landscapes increase condominium unit selling price in a high-density city, Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol:192, ISSN:0169-2046, Pages:103644-103644

Belcher R, Sadanandan KR, Goh ER, et al., 2019, Vegetation on and around large-scale buildings positively influences native tropical bird abundance and bird species richness, Urban Ecosystems, Vol:22, ISSN:1083-8155, Pages:213-225

Belcher R, Chisholm RA, 2018, Tropical Vegetation and Residential Property Value: A Hedonic Pricing Analysis in Singapore, Ecological Economics, Vol:149, ISSN:0921-8009, Pages:149-159

Belcher R, Fornasari L, Menz S, et al., 2018, Birds use of vegetated and non-vegetated high-density buildings—a case study of Milan, Journal of Urban Ecology, Vol:4


Schroepfer T, Menz S, Yingying J, et al., 2019, Dense and Green Building Typologies: Architecture as Urban Ecosystem, Future Cities Laboratory Indicia 02, Lars Muller Publishers, ISBN:9783037785997


Suen E, Belcher R, Menz S, et al., Estimating Leaf Area Index of Urban Trees from Digital Zenith Cover Photography: A Framework on its Application for Urban Practitioners, IFLA World Congress 2018

Tan JKN, Belcher R, Menz S, et al., Comparing the surface temperatures of greenery and artificial materials: A field study of green infrastructures in Singapore, IFLA World Congress 2018

More Publications