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Dr. Ian Donohue, Trinity College Dublin

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Ian Donohue Dr. Ian Donohue
Associate Professor

Member of the Ecological and Evolutionary Networks Research Cluster

Tel: + 353 1 8961356
Fax: + 353 1 6778094
Skype: ian_donohue

Our award-winning blog:
EcoEvo@TCD Blog


Research interests

I am a community ecologist and like to use experimental approaches to answer questions about the factors that regulate the structure, stability and functioning of biological networks. The overarching aim of my research is to further our understanding of how key elements of global change alter the functioning and stability of ecosystems.

An important goal of my research is to bridge the gaps between theoretical, empirical and applied ecology. My field research focuses mainly on aquatic ecosystems (both marine and freshwater), although more recently my approach to research combines experimental and observational work in the field, laboratory experiments using multitrophic microbial communities and in silico experiments on simulated model communities.

Microevolution matters! Check out this short video describing our paper recently published in Nature Communications:

Some recent publications

Penk, M., Saul, W.-C., Dick, J., Donohue, I., Alexander, M., Linzmaier, S. & Jeschke, J. A trophic interaction framework for identifying the invasive capacity of novel organisms. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. Online early.

Donohue, I., Petchey, O.L., Kéfi, S., Génin, A., Jackson, A.L., Yang, Q. & O'Connor, N.E. Loss of predator species, not intermediate consumers, triggers rapid and dramatic extinction cascades. Global Change Biology. Online early.

Abila, R. et al. (2016) Oil extraction imperils Africa's Great Lakes. Science 354: 561-562.

Donohue, I., Hillebrand, H., Montoya, J.M., Petchey, O.L., Pimm, S.L., Fowler, M.S., Healy, K., Jackson, A.L., Lurgi, M., McClean, D., O'Connor, N.E., O'Gorman, E.J. & Yang, Q. (2016) Navigating the complexity of ecological stability. Ecology Letters 19: 1072-1085.
***This paper was awarded the 2017 Ecological Society of America Innovation in Sustainability Science Award***
Some press coverage of this paper:
National Geographic

Jackson, M.C., Grey, J., Miller, K., Britton, J.R. & Donohue, I. (2016) Dietary niche constriction when invaders meet natives: evidence from freshwater decapods. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1098-1107.

Mrowicki, R.J., O'Connor, N.E. & Donohue, I. (2016) Temporal variability of a single population can determine the vulnerability of communities to perturbations. Journal of Ecology 104: 887-897

Penk, M.R., Jeschke, J.M., Minchin, D. & Donohue, I. (2016) Warming can enhance invasion success through asymmetries in energetic performance. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 419–426
Highlighted in the Journal of Ecology Virtual Issue on Invasive Species

McClean, D., McNally, L., Salzberg, L.L., Devine, K.M., Brown, S.P. & Donohue, I. (2015) Single gene locus changes perturb complex microbial communities as much as apex predator loss. Nature Communications 6: 8235
A nice blog post on this paper:
Some press coverage of this paper:
Nature World News
Science Newsline
Irish Examiner
Health Canal

Penk, M., Irvine, K. & Donohue, I. (2015) Ecosystem-level effects of a globally-spreading invertebrate invader are not moderated by a functionally similar native. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 1628-1636

O’Connor, N.E., Bracken, M.E.S., Crowe, T.P. & Donohue, I. (2015) Nutrient enrichment alters the consequences of species loss. Journal of Ecology 103: 862-870

Evtimova, V.V. & Donohue, I. (2014) Quantifying ecological responses to amplified water level fluctuations in standing waters: an experimental approach. Journal of Applied Ecology 51: 1282-1291

Healy, K. Finlay, S., Guillerme, T., Kane, A., Kelly, S.B.A., McClean, D., Kelly, D.J., Donohue, I., Jackson, A.L. & Cooper, N. (2014) Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 281: 20140298
Some press coverage of this paper:
Irish Independent
Discovery News
NewsTalkFM FutureProof
Fox News

Access the recommendation on F1000Prime Donohue, I., Petchey, O.L., Montoya, J.M., Jackson, A.L., McNally, L., Viana, M., Healy, K., Lurgi, M., O’Connor, N.E. & Emmerson, M.C. (2013) On the dimensionality of ecological stability. Ecology Letters 16: 421–429

O'Connor, N.E., Emmerson, M.C., Crowe, T.P. & Donohue, I. (2013) Distinguishing between direct and indirect effects of predators in complex ecosystems. Journal of Animal Ecology 82: 438-448
Highlighted in the Journal of Animal Ecology Virtual Issue on Food Webs

O'Connor, N.E. & Donohue, I. (2013) Environmental context determines the multi-trophic effects of consumer species loss. Global Change Biology 19: 431-440

>>full list of publications>>



*Fundamentals of Ecology (BO3105; Junior Sophistor Environmental Science, Plant Science and Zoology)
*Animal Diversity (ZO3003; Junior Sophistor Zoology)
*General Environmental Sciences (ES4052; Senior Sophistor Environmental Sciences)
*Wildlife Biology and Terrestrial Ecology (ZO3085; Junior Sophistor Environmental Sciences, Zoology)
*Introduction to Biodiversity (BD7050; MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation)
*Zoology and Society (ZO4040; Senior Sophistor Zoology)
*Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ZO4017; Senior Sophistor Environmental Science, Plant Science and Zoology)

Hear what our students have to say about the Tropical Ecology and Conservation field course in Kenya...


...and our Terrestrial Ecology field course in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow:

Last updated 24 August 2012 by