copy_edited.jpg

WELCOME TO THE

EEC GROUP

 

OVERVIEW

IMG_4904.JPG 2013-11-7-16:11:49
IMG_1328.JPG
IMG_4356.JPG

WHAT WE DO

The experimental ecology & conservation group focusses on synthesising information from mathematical models, small-scale experimental systems, and long-term wild population data to learn more about the world around us, and in particular help make decisions about how to best preserve biodiversity into the future.

NOVEL TECHNIQUES

A specific focus is on developing new, exciting, and useful techniques to make the experimental systems we work with more realistic reflections of the world around us.

ITS ALL ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE

But our focus is always on how we can learn more about the natural world without having to carry out invasive or damaging experiments in the field.

 
 

NEWS

The latest news on papers, grants, and members joining the group!

For regular news updates follow us on twitter

TOP DISCOVERIES OF THE DECADE

April 12, 2025

Add a News Article with a short summary and a link. You can also add a video for extra engagement. Be detailed and thorough to interest your readers, and include links to the original story online.

EARLY WARNING SIGNALS ONLINE!

Feb, 2022

You can now see whether your time series is showing early warning signals through our online interface! This uses the machine learning approach published in our new paper (available here) to detect and classify warning signals. 

Try it out:

https://ewsnet.github.io/

MACHINE LEARNING AND EARLY WARNING SIGNALS

January, 2022

Our new paper (accepted in Royal Society Open Science) uses machine learning to detect and classify approaching collapses in time series data. See the pre-print here

DATA PUBLISHING

2022

In line with the principals of open science and data sharing we are striving to make all the data that our lab group generates available via a github repository. This will take some time, but all data going forward will be uploaded to that site, and data from previous experiments (be that laboratory generated or simulation generated) will be made available as soon as possible. 

IMG_1950_edited.jpg
 
DSCF8241-EFFECTS_edited.jpg

CURRENT PROJECTS

EARLY WARNING SIGNALS

Predicting the fate of biological systems is critical in the light of continued global change, especially in the field of conservation biology where at risk populations must be prioritised to make the most of limited resources. A long running interest of this group is developing warning signals of approach population, community, and ecosystem collapse based on temporal patterns in abundance, trait, and spatial data.

EXPERIMENTALLY TESTING CONSERVATION THEORY

Designing optimal conservation strategies is key in the face of limited funding and ever increasing anthropogenic stresses. A central theme to the group is using experimental systems to test and develop conservation theory.

TRACKING BIODIVERSITY CHANGE

Understanding whether biodiversity is changing is critical if we are to understand the impacts humanity is having on ecosystems, and whether management interventions are having the desired effects. Our group is working with Bristol City Council to produce a wildlife index to track biodiversity change in Bristol.

THE EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE STRESSORS

The effects of multiple stressors (e.g. including habitat loss, pollution, over harvesting, climatic change, and the introduction of invasive species) on global biodiversity is a continued concern. We are interested in the possible interactive effects of these stressors, and how this may affect populations and communities.

RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY IN FISHERIES

Fisheries are one of the most economic and ecologically important ecosystems on earth. However the vast majority are in a state of significant degradation. We are interested in how such systems might recovery, and the pathways they might take doing so, and how these pathways affect community structure and function.

 
Snowcap Mountains

PEOPLE

 
Chris Clements, photo by Susanne Schulme
Photo MB Website Bristol.png
Francesco Cerini picture.jpg

DR CHRIS CLEMENTS

Group leader

My interests centre on the extinction of species and collapse of populations, topics which I investigate using a combination of mathematical models, microcosm experiments, and analysis of real world population data.

My current interests are on resilience loss and the conservation of species in the face of multiple stressors.

Google scholar profile

DR MARC BESSON

Post doctoral researcher

I am a Research Associate at the University of Bristol, where my research aims to assess the impacts of multiple stressors on resilience loss in laboratory systems, using gantries, AI and experimental arenas. Overall, I am interested in the effects of stressors on aquatic organisms and how they can affect key ecological processes during critical life-history transitions. I like to use integrative approaches, from the molecule to the behavior, to investigate the inner mechanisms that could explain such affected ecological processes.

Google Scholar 

DR FRANCESCO CERINI

Post doctoral researcher

My research interests are broad, but mainly revolving around abiotic factors and biotic interactions as structuring forces of species occurrence, distribution and abundance in ecosystems. Also, I am interested in studying the effects of human influence (e.g., habitat and climate modification, pollution, overharvesting) on ecosystem patterns and processes in a conservation framework. I both use local fieldwork data, macroecological approaches and experimental systems to test community assembly processes.


Google scholar 

DSC_0421.JPG
Picture1.png
fullsizeoutput_14c3.jpeg

DONGBO LI

PhD student (University of Bristol)

I am studying the efficiency of wildlife corridors in theory and in practice. I am interested the role of corridors in determining the population growth and stability in microcosm networks and under field conditions, testing whether changing the quality and quantity of corridors can influence population dispersal ability and enhance ecosystem functions. My research would have a better understanding of the importance of wildlife corridors in fragmented habitats.

Co-supervised with Prof. Jane Memmott.

DUNCAN O'BRIEN

PhD Student (University of Bristol)

My MSc at the University of Essex has led to research interests involving the feedbacks of evolution and environment in shaping ecosystems and its management implications. I am a PhD student at the University of Bristol, exploring the use of early warning signals in predicting aquatic regime shifts via ecological modelling and analysis of long term data sets.

Google Scholar

ELLIE WOLFE

Technician

My research interests focus on the importance of land management practices for species conservation on a multi-species level. My current work uses microcosm experiments to investigate the SLOSS debate, in particular whether species dispersal between patches affects what the best land-management practice is, and how our inability to detect species in heterogeneous environments might alter our decision-making process.

6F72021A-4178-437A-A0AA-BFAE9CADFE31.JPG

OLLY HINES

Mres

I am undertaking a Masters by Research in Global Environmental Challenges under the Environmental Change research theme. My research project will be investigating the impact(s) of multiple stressors, specifically climate change, overexploitation and habitat fragmentation, on ecological communities and the risk of extinction to their respective inhabitants. I have particular interests in marine conservation and management practices, sustainability and responses to environmental change. I will be using small-scale microcosm experiments and hope that it will inform discussion on conservation practices.

ALUMNI

 
PIC_Gaurav_edited.jpg

GAURAV BARUAH

PhD student

Google Scholar

Went on to:
Post-doc at EAWAG

PolCapdevila.jpeg

DR POL CAPDEVILA

Post Doctoral Researcher

Google Scholar

Went on to:
PDRA fellowship, University of Barcelona

EE&C_Photo.jpg

NICOLA NOVIELLO

Mres


Went on to:
move to Australia!

13723937_964215617031637_4713346435309461739_o_edited_edited.jpg

NATHAN WILLIAMS

Went on to:
PhD at the Bournemouth University

 

PUBLICATIONS

IN PRESS

PRE-PRINTS

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

THESES

 
_MG_7419.JPG

DATA

In line with the principals of open science and data sharing we are striving to make all the data that our lab group generates available via a github repository. This will take some time, but all data going forward will be uploaded to that site, and data from previous experiments (be that laboratory generated or simulation generated) will be made available as soon as possible.

 

CURRENT GRANTS

EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE STRESSORS ON THE GLOBAL DECLINE OF VERTEBRATE POPULATIONS

2020 - 2022

Leverhulme Trust

RPG-2019-368

Read More

TIMELINE TO COLLAPSE

2020 - 2023

THE COHERENCE OF ECOLOGICAL STABILITY AMONG ECOSYSTEMS AND ACROSS ECOLOGICAL SCALES

2020 - 2024

 

JOIN THE GROUP

We are always looking for enthusiastic members to join the group, from masters students to post docs. Funding for these are available through a number of channels, depending on the career stage.

Please feel free to contact me any time to discuss the possibility of apply for one of these schemes and joining our team.

IMG_1308.JPG
2018_0805_09463100.jpg
DSCF3568-01-01.jpeg
 

AVAILABLE POSITIONS 

Adverts for funded positions will appear below

NONE AT PRESENT

 

CONTACT US

School of Biological Sciences
University of Bristol
Bristol Life Sciences Building
24 Tyndall Avenue
Bristol

England
BS8 1TQ

  • Twitter

Thanks for submitting!