Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in Model Systems

We work or have worked with a number of model systems to investigate how evolution in new or changing environments can affect contemporary ecological population and community dynamics. At Essex we are using a wild guppy model system to investigate eco-evolutionary responses to harvesting and competition (Matt Bond), testing emerging management (in collaboration with Robert Arlinghaus, IGB Berlin) and evolutionary theory (in collaboration with  Andre de Roos, Amsterdam & Lennart Persson, Umea).

In the past we have worked with a beautiful model organism, the soil mite Sancassania berlesei. This has allowed us to collect very detailed census and life history information to study evolution in ecological time in what is quite a complex organism. Primarily we have been asking over what timescale does evolution effect ecological dynamics and which, if any, traits are more influenced than others. This research has been in collaboration with a whole suite of people but especially Tim Benton (Leeds) and Stuart Piertney (Aberdeen). More information on this work and associated publications can be found here.