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Ecology, Evolution and Environment

Group Coordinator: Professor Bob Baxter

Our Research Group explores the relationships between organisms and their changing environment, working at scales from global to sub-cellular, whilst considering also behavioural and evolutionary plasticity.

The primary interests of the group are the role of evolution in shaping species relationships with their environment, the role of behaviour in modifying individual variation, and the impact of environmental change, particularly global climatic change and anthropogenic habitat alteration, on species.

To inform the development of biodiversity conservation strategies resilient to climatic change (and the many other pressures causing biodiversity loss), we apply simulation models to predict the impacts of such changes on biodiversity. Statistical and mechanistic models are being developed and applied to make robust predictions of the responses of species and ecosystems to environmental change.

Affiliated Members: Professor Marc Knight, Professor Heather KnightDr Adrian Brennan

Academic Members

Meet the group

Prof Robert Baxter

Area of Research: Climate Change Biology

Dr John Bothwell

Area of Research: Algal Evolution and Physiology

Professor Guillaume Chomicki

Area of Research: Evolution and ecology of mutualisms
Guillaume Chomicki

Dr Jonathan Drury

Area of Research: Species Interactions & Evolution

Prof Rus Hoelzel

Area of Research: Molecular Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Dr Christine Howard

Area of Research: Macroecology and Conservation
Dr Christine Howard

Prof Martyn Lucas

Area of Research: Aquatic Animal Ecology

Dr Rebecca Senior

Area of Research: Conservation & Global Change Ecology
Rebecca Senior

Prof Phil Stephens

Area of Research: Applied population ecology

Dr Sean Twiss

Area of Research: Animal Behaviour: Individual differences in behaviour and stress reactivity

Dr Andreanna Welch

Area of Research: Ecological & Evolutionary Genetics

Prof Steve Willis

Area of Research: Conservation & Climate Change Biology

Recent Publications

Rutter, Nick and Essery, Richard and Baxter, Robert and Hancock, Steven and Horton, Maya and Huntley, Brian and Reid, Tim and Woodward, John (2023) 'Canopy structure and air temperature inversions impact simulation of sub-canopy longwave radiation in snow-covered boreal forests.', Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Ali Omer, Trevor Fristoe, Qiang Yang, Mialy Razanajatovo, Patrick Weigelt, Holger Kreft, Wayne Dawson, Stefan Dullinger, Franz Essl, Jan Pergl, Petr Pyšek & Mark van Kleunen (2022). The role of phylogenetic relatedness on alien plant success depends on the stage of invasion Nature Plants 8, 906-914

Senior, R.A., Oliveira, B.F., Dale, J., Scheffers, B.R. (2022). Wildlife trade targets colourful birds and threatens the aesthetic value of nature. Current Biology. 

Sun, Qiaoqi, Burrell, Arden, Barrett, Kirsten, Kukavskya, Elena, Buryak, Ludmilla, Kaduk, Joerg & Baxter, Robert (2021). Climate variability may delay post-fire recovery of boreal forest in southern Siberia, Russia. Remote Sensing 13(12): 2247.

Wylot, Marta, Whittaker, David T.E., Wren, Stephen A.C., Bothwell, John H., Hughes, Leslie & Griffin, Julian L. (2021). Monitoring apoptosis in intact cells by high‐resolution magic angle spinning 1 H NMR spectroscopy. NMR in Biomedicine 34(3): e4456.

Smith, David L., Musiime, Alex K., Maxwell, Kilama, Lindsay, Steven W. & Kiware, Samson (2021). A New Test of a Theory about Old MosquitoesTrends in Parasitology 37(3): 185.

Yuan Y, Zhang Y, Zhang P, Liu C, Wang J, Gao H, Hoelzel AR, Seim I, Lv M, Lin M, Dong L, Gao H, Yang Z, Caruso F, Lin W, da Fonseca RR, Wang D, Wang X, Rasmussen MH, Liu M, Zheng J, Zhao L, Campos PF, Kang H, Iversen M, Song Y, Guo X, Guo J, Qin Y, Pan S, Xu Q, Meng L, A Y, Liu S, Lee SMY, Liu X, Xu X, Yang H, Fan G, Wang K, Li S. (2021) Comparative genomics provides new insights into the aquatic adaptations of mammals. PNAS 118 e2106080118

Andrews, K.R., Epstein, B., Leslie, M.S., Fiedler, P., Morin, P.A. and Hoelzel, A.R. (2021), Genomic signatures of divergent selection are associated with social behaviour for spinner dolphin ecotypes. Mol Ecol, 30, 1993-2008.

Galib, Shams M.Findlay, John S. & Lucas, Martyn C. (2021). Strong impacts of signal crayfish invasion on upland stream fish and invertebrate communitiesFreshwater Biology 66: 223-240.

Stewart, Peter S.Hill, Russell A.Stephens, Philip A., Whittingham, Mark J. & Dawson, Wayne (2021). Impacts of invasive plants on animal behaviourEcology Letters 24: 891-907.

Titley, Mark A., Butchart, Stuart H. M., Jones, Victoria R., Whittingham, Mark J. & Willis, Stephen G. (2021). Global inequities and political borders challenge nature conservation under climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(7): e2011204118.

Street, LE, Garnett, MH, Subke, J-A, Baxter, R, Dean, JF & Wookey, PA (2020). Plant carbon allocation drives turnover of old soil organic matter in permafrost tundra soils. Global Change Biology 26(8): 4559-4571.

Drury, J.P., Cowen, M.C. & Grether, G.F. (2020). Competition and hybridization drive interspecific territoriality in birdsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117(23): 12923-12930.

Howard, C., Flather, C.H. & Stephens, P.A. (2020). A global assessment of the drivers of threatened terrestrial species richnessNature Communications 11: 993

Shuert, Courtney R. , Halsey, Lewis G., Pomeroy, Patrick P. & Twiss, Sean D. (2020). Energetic limits: Defining the bounds and trade‐offs of successful energy management in a capital breederJournal of Animal Ecology 89(11): 2461-2472.

Haeuser, E, Dawson, W & van Kleunen, M (2019). Introduced garden plants are strong competitors of native and alien residents under simulated climate change. Journal of Ecology 107(3): 1328-1342.

De Clerck, Olivier Kao, Shu-Min Bogaert, Kenny A. Blomme, Jonas Foflonker, Fatima Kwantes, Michiel Vancaester, Emmelien Vanderstraeten, Lisa Aydogdu, Eylem Boesger, Jens Califano, Gianmaria Charrier, Benedicte Clewes, Rachel Del Cortona, Andrea D’Hondt, Sofie Fernandez-Pozo, Noe Gachon, Claire M. Hanikenne, Marc Lattermann, Linda Leliaert, Frederik Liu, Xiaojie Maggs, Christine A. Popper, Zoë A. Raven, John A. Van Bel, Michiel Wilhelmsson, Per K.I. Bhattacharya, Debashish Coates, Juliet C. Rensing, Stefan A. Van Der Straeten, Dominique Vardi, Assaf Sterck, Lieven Vandepoele, Klaas Van de Peer, Yves Wichard, Thomas & Bothwell, John H. (2018). Insights into the Evolution of Multicellularity from the Sea Lettuce Genome. Current Biology 28(18): 2921-2933.e5.

Hof, Christian, Voskamp, Alke, Biber, Matthias F., Böhning-Gaese, Katrin, Engelhardt, Eva Katharina, Niamir, Aidin, Willis, Stephen G. & Hickler, Thomas (2018). Bioenergy cropland expansion may offset positive effects of climate change mitigation for global vertebrate diversityProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(52): 13294-13299.

Dawson, W, Moser, D, van Kleunen, M, Kreft, H, Pergl, J, Pysek, P, Weigelt, P, Winter, M, Lenzner, B, Blackburn, TM, Dyer, EE, Cassey, P, Scrivens, SL, Economo, EP, Guenard, B, Capinha, C, Seebens, H, Garcia-Diaz, P, Nentwig, W, Garcia-Berthou, E, Casal, C, Mandrak, NE, Fuller, P, Meyer, C & Essl, F (2017). Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 0186.

Welch AJ, Collins K, Ratan A, Drautz D, Schuster SC, Lindqvist C. 2016. The quest to resolve recent radiations: Plastid phylogenomics of extinct and endangered Hawaiian endemic mints (Lamiaceae)Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 99:16-33.