Dr James Bull
Associate Professor
Biosciences
Telephone: (01792) 602972
Room: Academic Office - 145
First Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

I am interested in spatial connectivity in population dynamics and the population-level consequences of movement, as well as disease ecology. These research areas overlap as free-living organisms come into contact with transmissible agents of infectious disease. I use a combination of mathematical modelling, ecological experiments with model species, and field observations from natural ecosystems. My theoretical research on population and community ecology is grounded in important applied problems, including food security, renewable energy, biodiversity loss, and invasive species.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.

Research group website: http://www.spacepop.uk

Areas of Expertise

  • Disease ecology
  • Ecological genomics
  • Metapopulations
  • Population biology
  • Spatial dynamics

Publications

  1. & Highly specific host-pathogen interactions influence Metarhizium brunneum blastospore virulence against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Virulence 9(1), 1449-1467.
  2. & Combined use of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium brunneum , and the mosquito predator, Toxorhynchites brevipalpis, for control of mosquito larvae: Is this a risky biocontrol strategy?. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 153, 38-50.
  3. & Conservation of pattern as a tool for inference on spatial snapshots in ecological data. Scientific Reports 8(1), 132
  4. & Identification of ion-channel modulators that protect against aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death. Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight 2(24), e96773
  5. & Pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa, Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae) larvae are highly susceptible to the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium brunneum and Beauveria bassiana. Biocontrol Science and Technology 27, 1168-1179.

See more...

Teaching

  • BIO249 Introduction to field ecology

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing ecological techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (freshwater systems, woodlands, sand dunes). You will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore, you will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and indicator species associated with them.

  • BIO253 Introduction to field zoology

    This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sampling the zoological biodiversity of a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (coastland, woodland, grassland, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of zoological and ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise and describe key groups of animals associated with a range of temperate habitats.

  • BIO334 Advanced Data Analysis

    This module extends core knowledge of statistical computing to cover a range of more specialized topics of particular importance to the analysis of real world biological datasets, such as those collected for final year undergraduate research dissertations. We use the R software environment; building on experience of this gained during the core Second Year module, BIO252 ¿ Ecological Data Analysis. Students will be guided through 6 computer-based workshops / practicals, including brief introductory lectures to each topic. The workshops, and associated additional guidance, will cover 5 key themes: 1) Linear modelling refresher, 2) Experimental design and analysis, 3) Generalised Linear Modelling A - Count data, 4) Generalised Linear Modelling B - Proportion data, 5) Non-parametric analysis. The final week will be based around further practice and revision sessions. The module will be subject to continuous assessment, consisting of 3 in-class tests under exam conditions, throughout the course (equivalent to the 'Analytical' question in all final year Biosciences exams). In addition, students will complete a coursework assignment after the course, where they will gain additional experience of analysis and interpreting biological data.

  • BIO347 Tropical Ecology and Conservation - Borneo Field Trip

    Borneo is a hot spot for biodiversity both in regards to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This module is a residential field course which will explore ecological and conservation principles in tropical rainforests and marine ecosystems.

Supervision

  • Linking plant demography, ecological dynamics and population genetics across space and time. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Emily Shepard
  • The distribution and site fidelity of a rare, non-commercial elashmobranch (current)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • Functional diversity of macroalgae (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Ecology and Conservation of Sabellaria alveolata reefs. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
    Other supervisor: Dr Ruth Callaway
  • Novel products and strategies for wireworm control in potatoes (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Tariq Butt
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • An Investigation of the Variation in the Insect Pollinated Flora of Britain during the Holocene (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Cynthia Froyd
  • Advanced Telemetry and Bio-logging for Investigating Grey Seal Interactions with Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) Installations. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • 'Examining surface complexity and substrate effects on artificial intertidal structure colonisation' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • 'The phylogenetic pattern of macroalgal community function' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • 'The movement and space-use of grey seals, Halichoerus grypus, in the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • 'Using novel strategies to assess factors affecting freshwater macroinvertebrate community composition' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Wendy Harris
  • ''Development of Metarhizium brunneum for control of mosquito larvae'' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Tariq Butt
  • 'The role of PCBs on parasitism in harbour porpoise using UK strandings data' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Prof Luca Borger
  • ''''Heterogeneity in Nettle-Invertebrate Communities over Multiple Spatial Scales'''' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Wendy Harris

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Director of Postgraduate Research - Department of Biosciences , Swansea University

    2017 - Present

  • Examinations Officer - Department of Biosciences, Swansea University

    2014 - 2016

External Responsibilities

  • NERC Peer Review College, NERC

    2017 - Present

  • Editorial Board Member, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biological Sciences

    2015 - Present

  • Review College, British Ecological Society

    2012 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • SEACAMS2 - Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors in Wales. 2016 - 2019

    ERDF, Swansea co-I, £17M

  • Stress testing and optimisation of early interception networks for invasive pests of pollinators. 2014 - 2015

    DEFRA, co-I, £153K

  • Stress testing and optimisation of early interception networks for invasive pests of pollinators. 2014 - 2015

    DEFRA, co-I, £153K

  • Genome-wide comparison of the European (Apis mellifera) and Asian (A. cerana) honey bee. 2011 - 2014

    BBSRC, PI, c. £50K sequencing costs

  • Unravelling the impact of the mite, Varroa destructor, on the interaction between the honey bee and its viruses. 2011 - 2013

    BBSRC, co-I, £800K

  • Modelling systems for managing bee disease: the epidemiology of European Foul Brood. 2011 – 2013. 2011 - 2013

    BBSRC, co-I, £750K

  • Genomic approaches for studying honey bee biology and improving bee health. 2011

    DEFRA, co-I, £179K

  • Value in People Award. 2006 - 2008

    Personal Research Fellowship, Wellcome Trust funded

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2013 Present Senior Lecturer Swansea University
2006 2013 Research fellow University of Warwick
2004 2006 Postdoctoral researcher Zoological Society of London
2001 2004 Postdoctoral researcher Silwood Park, Imperial College
1997 2001 PhD Population Genetics Imperial College London
1993 1996 BA Biological Sciences University of Oxford