Dr Tom Webb

Dr Tom Webb

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4705

Email : t.j.webb@sheffield.ac.uk

Room C215, Alfred Denny Building

Webpage: shefmeme.org/ Twitter: @tomjwebb


Career

Royal Society University Research Fellow, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2008-present)

Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2007-2008)

NERC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2006-2007)

UKPopNet Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of York (2004-2006)

NERC Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Oxford (2003-2004)

Conservation International Postdoctoral Research Associate, Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2002-2003)

Key Research Interests

My primary research interest is in the macroecology of marine ecosystems. Particularly, in how and why marine biodiversity is unevenly distributed in space and time. This interest has led me into the realm of biodiversity informatics - using large databases of different facets of marine diversity in order to synthesise the state of knowledge of the world's oceans. My research is currently focused on three major areas:

  1. Global patterns and trends in marine biodiversity - interrogating, linking, and extracting trends from major biodiversity databases using novel statistical methods
  2. Comparative analysis of marine and terrestrial ecosystems - to what extent does ecological theory generalise across realms?
  3. Dynamics of UK marine systems - integrating data and models to understand the provision of ecosystem services from UK seas

Research Group

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Remi Vergnon, NERC-Defra Marine Ecosystems Research Programme, Marine macroecology and biodiversity informatics.

PhD Students

Samiya Selim, NERC-NEIFCA funded, Shifting baselines in coastal ecosystem service provision.

Abigail Marshall, NERC-Cefas funded, Climate and fishing effects on fish communities (lead supervisor Julia Blanchard, Institute of Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania).

Beth Mindel, NERC-Marine Scotland funded, Macroecology of deep sea fish communities (lead supervisor Julia Blanchard, Institute of Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania).

Alun Jones, ACCE/NERC/DTP funded, Global trends in marine biodiversity from unstructured data.

Hayley Bannister, University of Sheffield/Cefas funded, Making ecosystem models work for marine environmental policy.

Professional Activities

Member, UN Pool of Experts for the Ocean
Board Member, NBN Trust
Associate Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology
Editorial Board Member, Biology Letters
Committee Member, British Ecological Society Special Interest Group in Macroecology

Teaching

The majority of my teaching is focused around research-intensive modules, especially as a supervisor of research Projects (APS330) and Dissertations (APS331) in Level 3, and as a Level 4 supervisor. Project students can contribute directly to my primary research on large-scale patterns and trends in marine biodiversity. For instance, recent students have worked on diversity in temperate and tropical fish communities, and on scaling of space use and timing of breeding in seabirds. I run the Level 3 course APS349 (Conservation Issues and Management), lecturing on marine conservation, conservation in the anthropocene, and conservation conflicts as well as running a coursework option on marine spatial planning. I also take tutorials at Levels 1 and 2.

Key Collaborations

My work on marine biodiversity and macroecology relies on the existence of large databases collected by many individuals, but key existing collaborations and interactions involve:

I maintain an up-to-date list of publications and related metrics in my Google Scholar Profile. I also write the blog mola mola on scilogs.com and contribute occasionally to other publications such as The Conversation.