Dr Dave Hodgson in the lab

Dr Dave Hodgson in the lab

Professor Dave Hodgson
Professor of Ecology & Associate Dean for Education


Research interests

1. A predictive framework for ecological demography.
If we are to predict the impacts of climate change, invasive species and ecological management strategies on natural systems, we need mathematical tools that can cope with 3 critical problems: uncertainty, data quality, and complexity. In collaboration with Stuart Townley, I am engaged in the translation and development of tools that describe the robustness of empirical ecological models. I have developed Daphnia as a model system to study the impacts of ecological disturbances and perturbations on population dynamics. I am also involved in the production of global databases of plant (COMPADRE) and animal (COMADRE) demographic models. This work has relevance to conservation strategies, invasion dynamics, and evolutionary fitness.

2. Maintenance of diversity in natural systems.
Everywhere we look, we are surrounded by spectacular biodiversity. How is this diversity maintained in the face of competition and natural selection? I study mechanisms that help promote and maintain biodiversity, in diverse systems including baculoviruses, wild Brassicas, aphid parasitoids, Daphnia, farmland mammals and insects, and bacterial microcosms. Recent collaboration with Angus Buckling has developed the Pseudomonas model system for the study of relationships between diversity, parasitism and ecosystem functioning.

3. Sex and parasites.
I have an enduring fascination with the evolution of sexual diversity and the virulence of parasites. This has lead to various collaborations and the study of male investment in ejaculates, sexual dimorphism in lizards, host-parasite coevolution, facultative parthenogenesis and promiscuity. I am currently engaged in the statistical modelling of bovine tuberculosis in badger populations.

4. Statistical methods for modern ecology.
I work with ecologists and evolutionary biologists to ensure the use of correct and elegant statistical analyses in empirical research.


Year Sponsor Title Value Status
2015 NERC International Opportunities Fund: Global Plant Demography £40K PI
Pending decision BBSRC Social networks and TB transmission in cattle (Std grant) ~£600K   Co-I
2015 TSB/BBSRC Lobster Grower 2: aquaculture technology (2nd stage invitation) £996K Co-I
2015 Evolva Statistical Consultancy £7K PI
2015 Bayer/Pegasus SlimeWave: Trail following in the garden snail £15K PI
2014 NERC Are structured life histories really buffered against environmental change? £475K PI
2014 NERC Infection in dynamic social networks of a wild mammal £748K Co-I
2014 NERC CASE PhD Studentship: Modelling TB epidemiology in a badger population £75K PI
2014 EasyInnovations Physical barriers against snail movement £10K PI
2014 Bayer/Pegasus Monitoring UK snail populations £3K PI
2013 TSB/BBSRC Lobster Grower - Develop the technology to fast track the aquaculture potential for the European Lobster £175K Co-I
2013 CEFAS PhD: Metabolomics of the European Lobster £75K PI
2013 Bayer/Pegasus Movement behaviour of the garden snail £3K PI
2012 AXA Social evolution of microbial heavy metal bioremediation 420K Euros Co-I
2012 OPAL Moths and student bioblitz £3K Co-I
2012 BMSS Brassica metabolomics £2K PI
2012 ESF PhD: Secondary metabolite diversity in Brassica oleracea £70K PI
2012 FERA PhD: Spatial dynamics of tuberculosis in a badger society £35K PI
2011 Private Funding PhD: Biodiversity of Kuwaiti dune systems £51K PI
2011 EPSRC Nonlinear feedback loops and robustness: Integrating density dependence, uncertainty and environmental stress in modelling biological invasions. £417K Co-I
2011 Royal Society Partnership Fund: ‘Snails Home‘ with Dog Kennel School, London £7K PI
2011 ESF PhD: Sustainability of the Cornish lobster hatchery £70K PI
2010 NERC CASE PhD Studentship: Badger demography & Tb transmission £75K PI
2010 BBSRC PhD (Systems Biology): Spatial dynamics of bacterial swarms £70K PI
2009 Natural England Reintroduction of hen harrier to England: scoping study £120K PI
2009 Leverhulme Sexual dimorphism and speciation: alternative outcomes of evolutionary radiation. £127K Co-I
2009 Aquatonics Cod welfare statistical analysis £3K PI
2008 NERC Gambling on grandchildren: do aphids hedge their bets? £52K PI
2008 NERC Carryover effects in migratory strategies of birds. £363K Co-I
2008 NERC Rapid evolution of male genitalia £520K Co-I
2008 PTES Dormouse population genetics in the SW UK £20K PI
2008 SWRDA WaveHub Equipment £77K Co-I
2008 SWRDA Wavehub Salary £120K Co-I
2008 Natural England Marsh fritillary population dynamics £2K PI
2008 Evolva Artificial chromosome modelling £2K PI
2007 NERC Population dynamics of coral reef fish £382K Co-I
2007 UK ERC PhD: Socioecology of biofuel research £56K PI
2007 RSPB Estuary bird disturbance events £1K PI
2006 NERC Predicting the impact of life history perturbations on stage structured population dynamics £50K PI
2003 Royal Society Butterfly phenology and climate change £14K PI

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