Dr Will Hentley
2010-2014 PhD (Ecology) "The impact of global change on multi-trophic interactions", School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK
2008-2009 Masters - MSc (Biodiversity and Conservation), School of Biology, University of Leeds, UK
2004-2007 Bachelors, Honours - BSc (Hons) Zoology, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK
As an ecologist, the complex interactions that take place between organisms and the environment fascinate me. To date my research has focused on the way aquatic and terrestrial organisms interact with both the biotic and abiotic environment.
PhD Research: My PhD research focused on understanding how species interactions are affected by abiotic change. I investigated the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on a plant-herbivore-predator system. The work highlighted that changes to atmospheric CO2 concentrations can reduce plant resistance to herbivory, but predators maintain the balance within the system, removing any advantage herbivores may have due to reduced host plant resistance. Furthermore, I demonstrated that the escape responses of aphids to their predators became impaired under elevated atmospheric CO2, which may have a significant impact on ecosystem function in the future.
Current Reseach: After completing the PhD, my research interests have expanded considerably, but encompass three interconnected themes, ecological immunity, behavioural and applied ecology.
Ecological immunity - With a strong background in ecology and a fascination for understanding the mechanics of everything, my research has become more focused on ecological immunology. Using the bedbug study system I am applying new molecular techniques to quantify bedbug immune function in response to the biotic and abiotic environment.
Behavioural ecology - I continue to develop research goals around the behavioural ecology of aphids and bedbugs with collaborators within the department and further afield in Australia.
Applied ecology - The pest status of bedbugs in the UK is increasing rapidly, and therefore provides an ideal opportunity to develop scientific research into new guidelines for the government to harmonise the control and prevention of this resurging pest species.