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Personal profile

Research

I work at the interface between ecology and evolution to better understand and predict the effects of climate and habitat change on populations and ecosystem services. A key focus of my research is to develop models for ecological forecasting. These models are built upon fundamental biological principles, validated against independent data sets and are co-produced with stakeholders to ensure model output is suitable for scenario planning and the evaluation of proposed policies. 

Current projects 

1) “The insect crisis: mechanistic insights into the drivers of extinction”. This Formas funded project aims to develop Individual-Based Models of butterflies to provide a tool to better understand responses to current land management practises and predict the impacts of future Green Infrastructure policy. Co-PIs at Lund University: Henrik Smith, Magne Friberg and Emily Boyd.

2) "Pests, plants and parasitoids: how does climate variability affect tri-trophic interactions in apple orchards?". This is a BBSRC funded PhD studentship awarded by the CTP in Fruit Crop Research to doctoral candidate Stuart Edwards. Co-supervisor: Jake Bishop (UoR, UK), together with Robbie Girling (UoR, UK), and Glen Powell (East Malling Research, UK). 

3) "Evaluating how plant community composition influences natural enemy biodiversity and pest regulation services in temperate agroforestry systems." This is a NERC CASE funded PhD studentship awarded by the QMEE CDT to doctoral candidate Tom Staton. Co-supervisor: Robbie Girling (UoR, UK), together with Tom Breeze (UoR, UK), Jo Smith (MV Agroecological Research Centre, Portugal) and Helen Chesshire (Woodland Trust).

4) "Assessing the resilience of Brazil’s iconic Araucaria forest to past and future climate change". This SAGES PGT funded PhD studentship is awarded to doctoral candidate Oliver Wilson. Co-supervisor: Frank Mayle (UoR, UK). 

5) "Evolutionary adaptation to a warming climate". An ongoing collaboration with David Berger (Uppsala Universty, Sweden) and Wolf Blanckenhorn (University in Zürich, Switzerland) to better understand the genetic basis of thermal performance curves and their consequences for adaptation rate and extinction risk.

Keywords

  • Eco-evolutionary dynamics
  • Ecological modelling
  • Thermal adaptation
  • Global change biology
  • Insects
  • ecology and evolution

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