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Mhairi Alexander

Mhairi Alexander, PhD student

BSc Marine and Environmental Biology, University of St Andrews 2006

MRes Marine Biology, University of Plymouth/MBA 2007


Contact information

Now Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.



Research Interests

I am studying predator-prey interactions on the rocky shore, specifically examining how habitat complexity interacts with predation strength. My present study system focuses on the intertidal marine amphipod Echinogammarus marinus preying on the isopod Jaera nordmanni, however, in the coming months this system will be expanded upon. My previous research has looked at size selective predation in shore crabs, and impacts of invasive species on rocky shore biodiversity.



Alexander, M.E., Dick, J.T.A., O’Connor, N., Haddaway, N. & Farnsworth, K. (2012). Functional responses of the intertidal amphipod Echinogammarus marinus: effects of prey supply, model selection and habitat. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 468: 191-202

Alexander, M.E., Dick, J.T.A. & O’Connor, N. (2013). Born to kill: predatory functional responses of the littoral amphipod Echinogammarus marinus Leach throughout its life history. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 439: 92-99

Alexander, M.E., Dick, J.T.A. & O’Connor, N. (2013). Trait mediated indirect interactions in a marine intertidal system as quantified by functional responses. Oikos. 15: 1521-1531.

Dick, J.T.A., Alexander, M.E. & MacNeil, C. (2013) Natural Born Killers: an invasive amphipod is predatory throughout its life-history. Biological Invasions. 15: 309-313

Dick, J.T.A., Gallagher, K., Avlijas, S., Clarke, H.C., Lewis, S.E., Leung, S., Minchin, D., Caffrey, J., Alexander, M.E., Maguire, C., Harrod, C., Reid, N., Haddaway, N., Farnsworth, K.D., Penk, M., Ricciardi, A (2013) Ecological impacts of an invasive predator explained and predicted by comparative functional responses. Biological Invasions.15: 837-846
Dick, J.T.A., Alexander, M.E., Jeschke, J.M., Ricciardi, A., MacIsaac, H.J., Robinson, T.B., Kumschick, S., Weyl, O.L.F., Dunn, A.M., Hatcher, M.J., Paterson, R.A., Farnsworth, K.D., Richardson, D.M. (2013) Advancing impact prediction and hypothesis testing in invasion ecology using a comparative functional response approach. Biological Invasions. In press

MacNeil, C., Dick, J.T.A., Alexander, M.E., Dodd, J.A. & Ricciardi, A. (2013) Biotic resistance to invasive species: resident predators restrict an invader. NeoBiota. In press

Dodd, J.A., Dick, J.T.A., Alexander, M.E., MacNeil, C., Dunn, A.M., Aldridge, D.C. (2013) Predicting the ecological impacts of a new freshwater invader: functional responses and prey selectivity of the invasive ‘killer shrimp’ Dikerogammarus villosus compared with the native Gammarus pulex. Freshwater Biology. In press

Paterson, R.A., Pritchard, D.W., Dick, J.T.A., Alexander, M.E., Hatcher, M.J., Dunn, A.M. (2013) Predator cue studies reveal strong trait-mediated effects in communities despite variation in experimental designs. Animal Behaviour. In press
Barrios-O’Neill, D., Dick, J.T.A., Emmerson, M., Ricciardi, A., MacIsaac, H., Alexander, M.E., Bovy, H. (2013) Fortune favours the bold: a higher predator reduces the impact of a native but not an invasive intermediate predator. Journal of Animal Ecology. In press