I am interested in understanding the factors that determine change in species’ abundance, distributions and specializations. Most of my research involves studying the population, community, functional or evolutionary ecology of insects, and much was inspired by questions arising from conservation problems. The latter, in turn, have provided the opportunity to test hypotheses and predictions through large-scale, long-term field experiments, such as the restoration of endangered Maculinea (Large blue butterfly) species and associated communities to sites and landscapes across Europe.
Current research themes include:
- Describing global to local patterns of change in insect diversity, abundance & distributions
- The interactions and ecology of butterflies, foodplants, parasitoids and ants
- The evolutionary biology of myrmecophiles (insect mutualists, commensals and social parasites that interact with ants)
- The application of research results to nature conservation, including predicting and mitigating the impacts of climate change
I am currently President of the Royal Entomological Society, a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading, and a Professorial Fellow of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (NERC).