Dr Dylan Childs

Dr Dylan Childs

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4313

Email: d.childs@sheffield.ac.uk

Room C206, Alfred Denny Building


Lecturer, Sheffield University (2016-present)
NERC Research Fellow, Sheffield University (2008-2016)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Sheffield University (2006-2008)
Welcome Funded PDRA, Sheffield University (2005-2006)
Equities Trader, Circe Trading (2003-2005)
PhD Population Biology, Imperial College (1999-2003)


I am a population biologist with interests at both the pure and applied ends of the spectrum. I follow an interdisciplinary approach, developing data-driven models to understand population dynamics and natural selection in laboratory and free-living animal and plant populations. I am particularly keen to understand how demographic, environmental and ecological processes interact to influence these processes. I also develop theory and methods for modelling and analysis of structured populations.


My approach to teaching and supervision of students is to convey my enthusiasm for population biology and evolutionary ecology, and to use research-led, biologically interesting examples to give students a thorough grounding in key concepts. I strongly believe that learning the basic tools for independent research is essential for undergraduate students, and I always encourage my students to try new methods of data analysis and quantitative reasoning. I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, having completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching.

I have led the devlopment of the new data science strand of our curriculum. At level 1, I co-ordinate the introduction to exploratory data analysis component of APS135 (Skills for Biologists 1). In this course we introduce students to the R programming language, a cutting edge data visualisation and statistical analysis environment. We build on this knowledge in APS240 (Data Analysis), using R to explore the principles of environmental design and analysis of biological data. I also contribute to APS342 (Evolutionary Ecology). My part of the course focuses on the evolution of host-parasite interactions and the mechanisms of life history evolution in stochastic environments. At the postgraduate level, I co-teach our Advanced Biological Analysis module (APS405), a week long intensive training module for MBiolSci, MRes and PhD students. This module introduces advanced statistical tools and a workflow for presenting the results of research. I also supervise level 3 (APS330) and masters (APS406 and our MRes) Projects. These projects reflect my broad interests in how ecological processes shape natural selection and population dynamics. Students interested in these research areas are welcome to contact me to discuss project ideas.

Research Group

PhD Students

Simran Aujla

Ross Booton

Robert Goodsell (with Professor R Freckleton)

Erika Hansson (with Dr AP Beckerman)

Bethan Hindle (with Dr AP Beckerman)

John Jackson (with Dr V Lummaa)

James Lambert (with Professor R Freckleton)

Simon Rolph (with Professor R Freckleton and Dr R Salguero-Gomez)

View Publications

Research papers by Dylan Childs