Complex Ecological and Evolutionary SystemsHome | Research group | Opportunities | Publications | Projects | Twitter | EcoEvo@TCD blog
My main research interests center around understanding the fundamental factors and patterns which structure complex biological systems such as ecological food webs. I am particularly interested in how certain physical constraints, such as metabolic rate, environment complexity and spatial scale, as well as how the behavior of individual components of a system can shape the patterns and processes governing ecological systems in both ecological and evolutionary timescales. My main approaches are through analytical and simulation based modeling and comparative analysis. Other areas of interest to me include: Antipredator behavior and evolution, sensory ecology, Macro-evolutionary processes, parasitology (in particular parasite ecology) and stable isotopes. See my external website for more information.
My current research is focused on how trophic interactions scale both qualitatively and quantitatively over fundamental physiological and ecological traits such as body mass and metabolic rate. As trophic interactions and energy flow are one of the key traits of ecosystem structure and function I am interested in understanding the general process that shape such systems. In particular I use computational and comparative approaches to link how physiological, biomechanical and sensory traits affect trophic interaction strengths and other ecological and evolutionary processes. I also aim to investigate other ecological traits related to trophic interactions including life history traits, such as longevity, and anti-predatory mechanisms, such as toxicity.
Healy, K., Guillerme, T., Finlay, S., Kane, A., Kelly, S.B.A., McClean, D., Kelly, D.J., Donohue, I.D., Jackson, A.L. & Cooper, N. In press. Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. doi
Healy, K., McNally, L., Ruxton, G.D., Cooper, N. & Jackson, A.L. In press . Metabolic rate and body size linked with perception of temporal information. Animal Behaviour.
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. doi