My research focusses on the impacts of stochastic environmental variability on population processes affecting ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

I combine analytical, simulation and statistical modelling approaches to investigate how different forms of environmental variation (spatial and/or temporal) drive changes in population size and behavioural decisions. Where possible, I also try to link these approaches to data from natural populations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Complex dynamics
  • environmental stochasticity
  • species–environment interactions
  • dispersal
  • species–species interactions.
  • coloured stochastic processes
  • synchrony
  • spatio-temporal dynamics
  • data analysis
  • quantitative approaches
  • Saltmarsh

Publications

  1. & Boom-bust dynamics in biological invasions: towards an improved application of the concept. Ecology Letters
  2. & Top-down and bottom-up control on cougar and its prey in a central Mexican natural reserve. European Journal of Wildlife Research 63(5)
  3. & Functional responses of cougars (Puma concolor) in a multiple prey-species system. Integrative Zoology
  4. & Livestock grazing alters multiple ecosystem properties and services in salt marshes: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology
  5. & Navigating the complexity of ecological stability. Ecology Letters 19(9), 1172-1185.

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Teaching

  • BIO109 Core Skills for Biological Sciences

    This module is divided into two sections, scientific writing and data analysis, which will equip students with the core skills needed throughout their degree program. The content of the module includes understanding the different types of data that can be measured and collected, the tools to formally present and analyse data and data analyses, and practical applications of spreadsheet software. There is a 'hands on' focus on dealing with data and developing basic mathematical and statistical analytical skills. Furthermore this module introduces first year undergraduates to the key skill of scientific writing, developing their ability to locate, understand, evaluate and communicate scientific information.

  • BIOM25B Science Skills and Research Methods

    This intensive lecture and practical based module covers science skills for students wishing to pursue postgraduate studies, including MSc, MRes, MPhil and PhD degrees. It will teach students how to make good use of library and internet resources (including Web of Science, Voyager and Blackboard), to design and analyse their experiments, and to make presentations of their data during conferences and symposia. It will provide PG students in the Department of Biosciences (and other Departments in the College of Science) with the research and analytical skills necessary to carry out their research projects. It will teach them how to formulate and test scientific hypotheses, and how to generate and analyse scientific results using a variety of research methods. Lecture topics include Reporting and Presentation skills, Numerical skills, Philosophy and Methodology of Science, and Biostatistics. The lectures are taught during the first part of the Semester. The module is examined through a combination of CA (50%) and Examination in the form of a MCQ test (50%). Basic reading: Whitlock, M. and Schluter, D. (2014) The Analysis of Biological Data (Roberts & Co.). Crawley, M.J. (2005) Statistics: An Introduction Using R (Wiley). Original research papers given in reading list

  • BIOM34 Research Project in Environmental Biology

    In this module the students will learn how to: * perform a literature search in order to establish what has already been published in the selected subject area * appreciate the safety considerations of scientific research by completing appropriate audits of the materials and methods involved * investigate a problem in environmental biology in which hypotheses can be generated and tested with the application of appropriate statistical analysis * acquire a range of skills in the conduct of scientific research * integrate material from the literature with the results obtained from the research carried out into an effective dissertation * present their proposed methods and main results to peers

Supervision

  • Mathematical Modelling of direct biotic interactions (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Chenggui Yuan
    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Bridge
  • Scaling-up relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Community ecology and interspecific competitive interactions of wood primary wood decay fungi (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Dan Eastwood
  • Resource competition, context dependent interactions, co-existence and succession of decomposer communities in variable environments (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Dan Eastwood
  • Entomology: Natural enemy biodiversity and the control of agricultural pests. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Daphnia magna-induced defenses in two green algae -Scenedesmus quadricauda and Chlorella vulgaris: morphological and chemical changes. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Kam Tang
  • Biodiversity and resilience of salt marsh ecosystems to climate change (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Assessment of Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) removal from riparian zones and its impact on intra-river biodiversity and habitat quality: Implications for catchment level best management practices. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Daniel Forman
    Other supervisor: Dr Laura Roberts
  • Trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services in UK and US salt marshes (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin