Professor Owen Lewis

Research Interests

I am a community ecologist and conservation biologist. My interest is in the processes that maintain, structure and threaten biodiversity, particularly in highly diverse tropical forest ecosystems. My current research areas include the impact of human activities (including fragmentation and commercial timber extraction) on the diversity and functioning of tropical forest ecosystems; the structure and dynamics of food webs involving plants, insect herbivores and their parasitoids; the role of plant pathogens and insect herbivores in structuring and maintaining the high diversity of tropical plants; and the impact of climate change, habitat fragmentation and degradation on interspecific interactions and associated ecosystem functions and services.

Additional Information

I am an associate editor for Journal of Applied Ecology, a member of the editorial board of Ecological Entomology, and a member of the NERC Peer Review College. I was awarded the Founders' Prize of the British Ecological Society in 2010. In April 2016 I was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

I am the Lead PI for the LOMBOK consortium funded under NERC's Human Modified Tropical Forests programme. This is a 5-year, £2.3M project investigating biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and land-use policy in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. 

  • The role of evolutionary processes in shaping ecological networks

  • The cryptic impacts of invasion: functional homogenization of tropical ant communities by invasive fire ants

  • Finding missing links in interaction networks

  • Linking dung beetle-mediated functions to interactions in the Atlantic Forest: Sampling design matters

  • Altered parasitism of a butterfly assemblage associated with a range-expanding species

  • Trait-similarity and trait-hierarchy jointly determine co-occurrences of resident and invasive ant species

  • A Research Agenda for Microclimate Ecology in Human-Modified Tropical Forests

  • Effects of Forest Fragment Area on Interactions Between Plants and Their Natural Enemies: Consequences for Plant Diversity at Multiple Spatial Scales

  • More