2006 – Lecturer (from 2008, Senior lecturer, and from, 2013 Professor) in Ecological and Evolutionary Modellinf, University of Aberdeen.
2004 – 2006 Senior Scientific Officer, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Banchory, UK
2001- 2004 University of St Andrews, UK. Research Fellow in the Centre for Conservation Science.
1999 -2001 University of Lund, Sweden, Research fellow within the Climate Impacts Group
Degrees: PhD 1999 Imperial College London. MSc 1996 University of York. BSc(hons)1994 University of York
Much of my research uses models to study the population and evolutionary dynamics of spatially structured populations. Key interests include (1) the evolutionary ecology and population genetics of range expansions, (2) incorporating greater realism into the dispersal process within spatial population models, (3) evolvability (including the causes and consequences of mutation rate) and (4) the evolutionary ecology of longevity. While most of my group's work focusses on using stochastic individual-based models, I am increasingly interested in how these can be combined both with modern statistical methods (including Bayesian approaches) and analytical approximations to gain greater insights and predictive capabilities.
Funding and Grants
Substantial Grants Awarded Since 2012:
2018-2022 NERC Research Grant, "Forecasting biodiversity losses in Wallacea from ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes". PI of international team. (£850,000)
2018-2022 BBSRC Studentship Grant, "Using artificial intelligence to improve the forecast for biodiversity under environmental change" (£99,000)
2017-2021 NERC Research Grant, “Linking demographic theory and data to forecast the dynamics of spatially-structured seasonally-mobile populations” (£650,000). Co-I responsible for developing mechanistic migration models.
2017-2019 Marie Curie International Fellowship (Ð„215,000) Scientist in charge for Dr Aurore Ponchon.
2015-2016 STFC Newton AgriTech (£350,000) Local PI responsible for systems modelling of fire risk in China.
2015-2017 Marie Curie International Fellowship (Ð„220,000). Scientist in Charge for Dr Job Aben.
2012-2014 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (Ð„190,000). Scientist in Charge for Dr Kamil Barton.
2012-2015 NERC Responsive, PI “Managing Landscapes for Biodiversity Under Climate Change” (£355,000)
Most of my teaching is at Masters level. In particular, I co-ordinate two modules, one on Population Ecology and one on Advanced Ecological Modelling. At undergraduate level, I contribute to several courses at both 3rd and 4th year, most substantially to 3rd year Population Ecology where I introduce ecological modelling.
Teaching Philosophy: I enjoy the challenge of making quantitative topics and programming accessible to as many students as possible, and this is the focus of most of my teaching. I believe that almost all students are capable of learning to program, and that many obtain considerable satisfaction from the realisation that they can master it. I am interested in employing active learning methods within quantitative courses that have traditionally relied heavily on often dry lectures. In my Masters teaching I have been using 'learning through teaching' methods where individuals are each guided in putting together material to teach their peers about a particular aspect of modeling. This is proving a very successful way of improving understanding and creates considerable enthusiasm.
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Introducing LandScaleR: A novel method for spatial downscaling of land use projectionsEnvironmental Modelling and Software, vol. 169, 105826Contributions to Journals: Articles
Citizen science data reveals altitudinal movement and seasonal ecosystem use by hummingbirds in the Andes MountainsEcographyContributions to Journals: Articles
Spatial patterns of within-stock connectivity provide novel insights for fisheries managementMarine Ecology Progress SeriesContributions to Journals: Articles
Experimental evolution of dispersal: unifying theory, experiments and natural systemsJournal of Animal Ecology, vol. 92, no. 6, pp. 1113-1123Contributions to Journals: Articles
Impact of Phylogenetic Tree Completeness and Misspecification of Sampling Fractions on Trait Dependent Diversification ModelsSystematic Biology, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 106-119Contributions to Journals: Articles
The consequences of tree disease and pre-emptive felling on functional and genetic connectivity for woodland invertebratesEcological Informatics, vol. 72, 101820Contributions to Journals: Articles
Safeguarding imperiled biodiversity and evolutionary processes in the Wallacea center of endemismBioScience, vol. 72, no. 11, pp. 1118-1130Contributions to Journals: Articles
The missing link in biogeographic reconstruction: Accounting for lineage extinction rewrites historyJournal of Biogeography, vol. 49, no. 11, pp. 1941-1951Contributions to Journals: Articles
Getting lost in the matrix? On how the characteristics and arrangement of linear landscape elements influence ecological connectivityLandscape Ecology, vol. 37, pp. 2503–2517Contributions to Journals: Articles
Reconstruction of state-dependent diversification: integrating phenotypic traits into molecular phylogeniesEnvironmental Microbial Evolution. Springer NatureChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters