Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Research Postgraduate







Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





My research focuses on the integration of phylogenetic diversity and extinction risk to identify global conservation priorities. The majority of my work centres around terrestrial vertebrates, and I am particularly interested in reptiles.

My research focuses on the incorporation of new data and methods into global phylogenetically-informed prioritisation metrics. The aim of my work is to develop prioritisations for more taxonomic groups on a global scale for effective conservation action. I work closely with the Zoological Society of London's EDGE of Existence team to generate ‘EDGE Lists’ - priority rankings of evolutionarily unique and threatened species to inform applied conservation action. I also work with EDGE to train conservationists around the world and oversees projects to conserve some of the world’s most unique and threatened reptiles across Latin America, Africa and Asia.

I am also part of a multidisciplinary collaboration of zoologists, ecologists, epidemiologists and disease ecologists working to map human snakebite risk. We aim to identify relationships between human behaviour, socioeconomic conditions, land use and snake diversity, distribution and behaviour to inform mitigation efforts. I hope this work can help reduce human-snake interactions, limiting both the human death toll and depletion of snake populations.



Gumbs R, Gray C, Böhm M, et al., 2020, Global priorities for conservation of reptilian phylogenetic diversity in the face of human impacts, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

Gumbs R, Gray CL, Wearn OR, et al., 2018, Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities, Plos One, Vol:13, ISSN:1932-6203

Tapley B, Michaels CJ, Gumbs R, et al., 2018, The disparity between species description and conservation assessment: A case study in taxa with high rates of species discovery, Biological Conservation, Vol:220, ISSN:0006-3207, Pages:209-214

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