Our research focuses on a range of interlinked topics of significance to biological and geographical diversity relating to insects.
Specifically we are answering questions relating to the impacts climate change will have on insect ecology, behaviour and physiology, insect community structure along environmental gradients, and insect-plant interactions.
We work in both natural and agricultural systems. We focus on identifying if behavioural, ecological and physiological traits of insect species are predictable and repeatable, and whether these traits can then be scaled up to predict changes within and between ecological communities: this is fundamental to understanding biotic adaptations to a rapidly changing climate.
We are developing novel methods for predicting the effects of climate change on community structure and function using a holistic approach that combines: advances in statistical methods; the study of functional morphology to understand community structure, function and resilience; large-scale surveys; and experimentation.
We are also using a multi-dimensional framework for measuring insect responses to extreme events at different temporal and spatial scales, incorporating an assessment along a climatic gradient and among seasons: this includes doing direct assessments of the impact of a changing climate using field, glasshouse and laboratory experiments, assessing insect growth, reproductive and physiology traits. We are also developing better ways to understand how pest species and their natural enemies will respond to climate change, and what we need to do to better manage them into the future.
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