Professor of Ecology and Evolution
I am Professor of Ecology and Evolution in the Centre for Biological Diversity and
Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews and am also a member of CREEM. I have a longstanding interest in biological diversity and presently hold an ERC advanced grant for the project BioTIME. I have a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award and was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bergen.
My research interests focus on biological diversity – its measurement, evolution, maintenance and conservation.
Ever since my PhD I have been interested in how to measure biological diversity. My most recent book on the topic is Biological Diversity: Frontiers in Measurement and Assessment published by OUP in 2011 and co-edited with Brian McGill.
Work on fish, particularly the Trinidadian guppy – much of it in collaboration with Indar Ramnarine is helping show how diversity, at intra- and interspecific levels, evolves.
The ERC BioTIME project focuses on changes in biological diversity through time, both in terms of the ongoing turnover that characterizes every ecological community, and the changes that arise as a consequence of natural disturbance and anthropogenic change. Part of this work involves a longitudinal study in Trinidad; it also includes collaborations with researchers in Brazil including Helder Queiroz, and many other countries. Peter Henderson and I have a shared interest in the structure of aquatic communities.
Our work on diversity in time and space contributes to the conservation of biological diversity and includes collaborations with researchers in Brazil (including Dalva Matos and Helder Queiroz), Thailand (Salinee – ex student) and Malaysia (Amir – also an ex student at firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as in the UK.