The Donohue Lab
I use theory and experiments to explore how biological networks respond to perturbations. The overarching aim of my research is to understand and predict 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 theory, experimental and observational work in the field and laboratory experiments using multitrophic microbial communities.
Some recent publications
- Clark et al. (2021) General statistical scaling laws for stability in ecological systems. Ecology Letters. Online Early.
Borer et al. (2020) Nutrients cause grassland biomass to outpace herbivory. Nature Communications 11: 6036.
White, L., O'Connor, N.E., Yang, Q., Emmerson, M.C. & Donohue, I. (2020) Individual species provide multifaceted contributions to the stability of ecosystems. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1594–1601.
Full text available at https://rdcu.be/b8pp9
Hillebrand, H., Donohue, I., Harpole, W.S., Hodapp, D., Kucera, M., Lewandowska, A.M., Merder, J., Montoya, J.M. & Freund, J.A. (2020) Thresholds for ecological responses to global change do not emerge from empirical data. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1502–1509.
Full text available at rdcu.be/b6jI8
Covered by: The Irish Times, Irish Independent
Pimm, S.L., Donohue, I., Montoya, J.M. & Loreau, M. (2019) Measuring resilience is essential to understand it. Nature Sustainability 2: 895-897.
Full-text available at https://rdcu.be/bTN0E
Shoemaker et al. (2020) Integrating the underlying structure of stochasticity into community ecology. Ecology 101: e02922.
- Yang, Q. Fowler, M.S., Jackson, A.L. & Donohue, I. (2019) The predictability of ecological stability in a noisy world. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 251-259.
Full-text available at https://rdcu.be/bi0Uq
Kéfi, S., Dominguez-Garcia, V., Donohue, I., Fontaine, C. Thébault, E. & Dakos, V. (2019) Advancing our understanding of ecological stability. Ecology Letters 22: 1349-1356.
Montoya, J. M., Donohue, I. & Pimm, S.L. (2018) Planetary boundaries for biodiversity: implausible science, pernicious policies. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 33: 71-73.
Covered by: The Guardian, New Scientist, and National Geographic.
- White, L., Donohue, I., Emmerson, M.C. & O’Connor, N.E. (2018) Combined effects of warming and nutrients on marine systems are moderated by predators and vary across functional groups. Global Change Biology 24: 5853-5866.
- Kordas, R.L., Donohue, I. & Harley, C.D.G. (2017) Herbivory enables marine communities to resist warming. Science Advances 3: e1701349.
Covered by: National Geographic, The Huffington Post and AoL.
- Donohue, I., Petchey, O.L., Kéfi, S., Génin, A., Jackson, A.L., Yang, Q. & O'Connor, N.E. (2017) Loss of predator species, not intermediate consumers, triggers rapid and dramatic extinction cascades. Global Change Biology 23: 2962-2972.
- Abila 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: 1172-1185.
***Awarded the 2017 Innovation in Sustainability Science Award by the Ecological Society of America***
- 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
Microevolution matters! Check out this short video describing our paper recently published in Nature Communications:
*Fundamentals of Ecology (ZOU33010; Junior Sophistor Botany, Environmental Science and Zoology)
*Introduction to Biodiversity (BD7050; MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation)
*Zoology and Society (ZOU44040; Senior Sophistor Zoology)
*Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ZOU44017; Senior Sophistor Botany, Environmental 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: