I am a lecturer in the Department of Biosciences at Swansea University. My specialist areas include: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, Coastal Ecology, Restoration Ecology

Research in my group is aimed at elucidating how biodiversity and species interactions affect the functioning of ecosystems. We are addressing this across a range of systems including rocky shores, salt marshes, coral reefs and even alpine meadows. Empirical approaches include large-scale surveys, field and mesocosm experiments and meta-analysis.

Our research examines the functional consequences of two different axes of biodiversity: horizontal and vertical diversity. Along the horizontal axis of diversity (i.e. diversity of competing species), we are aiming to help predict the consequences of species extinctions, asking questions including: ‘how do diversity-function relationships change with scale from small experiments to landscapes?’ and ‘does the functional or evolutionary uniqueness of a species predict its importance for ecosystem functioning?’ In terms of vertical diversity (i.e. interactions between species in different trophic levels), we are focusing on cascading effects of non-trophic interactions. Our work in multiple systems is showing that predator extinction can have counterintuitive – yet predictable – effects resulting from the trait-dependent loss of non-trophic (behavioural) interactions.

Our work sits at the interface of pure and applied ecology. While we aim to improve understanding of ecological communities, we anticipate that our ongoing work will help to meet two key gaps in applied ecology: 1) the need to accurately predict how anthropogenic changes to biodiversity will influence ecosystem services; and 2) the need to identify species interactions that will hasten ecosystem recovery and promote resilience, therefore improving the success of ecosystem restoration programs.

Publications

  1. Griffin, J., Silliman, B. Predator size-structure and species identity determine cascading effects in a coastal ecosystem Ecology and Evolution 8 24 12435 12442
  2. Thakur, M., Griffin, J., Künne, T., Dunker, S., Fanesi, A., Eisenhauer, N. Temperature effects on prey and basal resources exceed that of predators in an experimental community Ecology and Evolution
  3. Craven, D., Eisenhauer, N., Pearse, W., Hautier, Y., Isbell, F., Roscher, C., Bahn, M., Beierkuhnlein, C., Bönisch, G., Buchmann, N., Byun, C., Catford, J., Cerabolini, B., Cornelissen, J., Craine, J., De Luca, E., Ebeling, A., Griffin, J., Hector, A., Hines, J., Jentsch, A., Kattge, J., Kreyling, J., Lanta, V., Lemoine, N., Meyer, S., Minden, V., Onipchenko, V., Polley, H., Reich, P., van Ruijven, J., Schamp, B., Smith, M., Soudzilovskaia, N., Tilman, D., Weigelt, A., Wilsey, B., Manning, P. Multiple facets of biodiversity drive the diversity–stability relationship Nature Ecology & Evolution
  4. Pimiento, C., Griffin, J., Clements, C., Silvestro, D., Varela, S., Uhen, M., Jaramillo, C. The Pliocene marine megafauna extinction and its impact on functional diversity Nature Ecology & Evolution 1 8 1100 1106
  5. Thakur, M., Künne, T., Griffin, J., Eisenhauer, N. Warming magnifies predation and reduces prey coexistence in a model litter arthropod system Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284 1851 20162570

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Teaching

  • BIO111 Botany and Ecology

  • BIO337 Biodiversity

    Biodiversity (or biological diversity) is the 'variety of life' at all levels of organisation -- from genes to ecosystems. This module will explore the foundational and very latest research exploring spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity, how biodiversity is related to the functioning of ecosystems, the growing extinction threat, and global strategies to conserve biodiversity.

Supervision

  • Effects of habitat diversity on ecosystem functioning (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • The effects of urban development on the functional diversity of coastal dune vegetation at community and species levels. (current)

    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Cynthia Froyd
  • Effects of Biodiversity Loss on Rockpool Communites (current)

    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • The Ecology of Human-Materials in Marine Ecosystems (current)

    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Perkins
  • Functional traits and diversity of intertidal seaweeds: from individuals to community levels (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Andrew King
  • Evaluating the Scientific and Technical capacities towards sustainable production of sea vegetables in Milford Haven (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Kam Tang
  • Identifying patterns of change in structured populations: characterising the spatial, trophic and population ecology of the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) during the breeding and non-breeding seasons (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • Functional diversity of macroalgae (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • Harbouring aliens: Ports as habitats for non-native species (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ruth Callaway
  • Establishing the knowledge baseline for sustainable Porphyra cultivation in South Wales (awarded 2020)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Kam Tang
  • Trade-offs between multiple ecosystem services in UK and US salt marshes (awarded 2020)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • Resilience of ecosystem functions in vegetated costal systems: a trait-based perspective (awarded 2020)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • Biodiversity Offsetting in Coastal Environments: A case study of the Honeycomb Worm Sabellaria Alveolata (awarded 2019)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ruth Callaway
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • Biodiversity of natural enemies and the control of agricultural pests (awarded 2019)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • 'The phylogenetic pattern of macroalgal community function' (awarded 2018)

    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • 'Examining surface complexity and substrate effects on artificial intertidal structure colonisation' (awarded 2018)

    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr James Bull
  • 'The Causes and Consequences of Variation in Different Dimensions of Biodiversity on Rocky Shores' (awarded 2018)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2008 Present PhD University of Plymouth
2004 Present MSc Bangor University
2003 Present BSc University of Nottingham