I’m an aquatic biologist and community ecologist, principally interested in how environmental contexts shape biological communities and influence ecosystem functioning. I am primarily an empiricist, combining experiments with field surveys to test and develop theory, and to address environmental problems. My key expertise lies in the mechanisms and impacts of eutrophication, climate change and biological invasions in aquatic ecosystems and fringing ecotones.
Selected first-authored publications:
Penk MR & Williams M (2019) Thermal effluents from power plants boost performance of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in Ireland’s largest river. Science of the Total Environment, 693: 133546. (Covered by The Sunday Times, Ireland Edition and by Newstalk Radio: Moncrieff show)
Penk MR, Perrin PM & Waldren S (2019) Above- to below-ground vegetation biomass ratio in temperate north-east Atlantic saltmarshes increases strongly with soil nitrogen gradient. Ecosystems. doi: 10.1007/s10021-019-00428-z.
Penk MR, Donohue I & Irvine K (2018) Temporally variable niche overlap and competitive potential of an introduced and a native mysid shrimp. Hydrobiologia, 823: 109–119.
Penk M, Saul W-C, Dick JTA, Donohue I, Alexander ME, Linzmaier S & Jeschke JM (2017) A trophic interaction framework for identifying the invasive capacity of novel organisms. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 8: 1786–1794. (Selected for ESA & BES Joint Virtual Issue on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
Penk M, Jeschke JM, Minchin D & Donohue I (2016) Warming can enhance invasion success through asymmetries in energetic performance. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85: 419–426. (Selected for two BES Virtual Issues: (1) Invasive Species, (2) Ecology and Evolution in Ireland)
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.
Penk MR, Donohue I, Récoules V & Irvine K (2015) Elevated temperatures interact with habitat quality to undermine survival of ectotherms in climatic refugia. Diversity and Distributions 21: 200–210.