Open to PhD applications in the field of
- Fisheries Sciences
- Fundamental Biology
- How the information structure of ecological communities quantitatively affects their ecological function
Biodiversity-ecosystem function relations (BEFRs) are central to ecology, economic value and conservation. They have only been quantified for foodwebs and plant communities to-date: excluding parasitism and mutualism and with no explicit account of network structure. Presently we have no quantitative measure of ecological structure - the network of interactions - and its effect on BEFRs. Great anticipation was generated this summer by three recent papers developing a method using information metrics, including very recent developments from brain research (Integrated Information (IIT)- Tononi et al.), Dynamic Causal Analysis (Kark Friston) and chemistry (entropic capacity - by Tom Shneider). The race is on to apply this approach to real ecological communities. The project would best suite an applied mathematician or physicist with an interest in computational science. It may be jointly supervised by one or more leading academics in the USA or UK. Please see www.whatlifeis.info/pages/PhD.html for further details.
Current Research Opportunities
- The relative importance of different species traits for predicting invasion success and impact - a sensitivity analysis approach
- QUADRAT DTP: How parasites stabilise ecological communities and why it matters
Public outreach & key achievements
- What Life Is: www.whatlifeis.info
- United Academics Magazine: Are Viruses Alive?
- Organisms (Uniquely) Do It For Themselves (In Defiance Of Determinism) https://www.ua-magazine.com/information-theory-what-life-is
- Scientific American - Wild fish ecosystems resist impact of biodiversity loss
- Science Daily - Seals not competing with Irish fishing stocks