Professor Andrew Beckerman

School of Biosciences

Professor in Evolutionary Ecology, Director of Student Recruitment (Biosciences)

Prof Andrew Beckerman
a.beckerman@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 0026

Full contact details

Professor Andrew Beckerman
School of Biosciences
E213
Alfred Denny Building
Western Bank
Sheffield
S10 2TN
Profile
  • Professor in Evolutionary Ecology, University of Sheffield (2019 - present)
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2005-2019)
  • NERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2002-2005)
  • NERC Postdoctoral Associate, University of Stirling (1999-2002)
  • PhD Yale University (1999)
  • MFS Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1994)
  • BSc Tufts University, Massachusetts (1990)
Research interests

We explore the structure, complexity and dynamics of food webs. We use optimal foraging theory to define the rules linking predators and prey. We predict the impacts of multiple simultaneous threats to ecosystems. We study the local adaptation of plasticity in real ponds and in daphnia and algae. We explore the genes that underpin plasticity and local adaptation. We work with predators, metals and algae biotechnology. We study the conservation and demography of parrots in Central America and the Caribbean. We link this to socioeconomics and trade-offs in conservation management. We study trade networks. We build models.

Publications

Journal articles

Research group

PhD Students

  • Hana Mayall (2021 - 2025) - ACCE Sheffield/NERC/CASE - Unilever - Ecological risk assessment and food webs: multiple stressor effects on biodiversity and ecosystem function (with Dylan Childs, Lorraine Maltby and Claudia Rivetti, Andrea Gredelj from Unilever)
  • Tom Malpas (2021 - 2025) - ACCE Sheffield/NERC/CASE - Unilever - Ecological risk assessment and food webs: identifying ecosystem tipping points under multi-stress (co-supervisor with with Dylan Childs (lead), Lorraine Maltby and Claudia Rivetti, Andrea Gredelj from Unilever)
  • Zuzanna Zagrodzka (2020 - 2024) - Sheffield/JISC PhD - Evaluating the perceptions of bias, replication and transparency in evolution and climate change science
  • Penelope Blyth (2020 - 2024) - Sheffield PhD - The impact of variation in body size scaling on complex food web models
  • Erika Hansson (2016-2022) - Sheffield PhD - Trade-offs between resistance and defence (with Dylan Childs)
  • Tom Lewis (2018 - 2022) - ACCE Sheffield/NERC/CASE - Chester Zoo (co-supervisor with Dylan Childs and Ben Hatchwell)
  • Nathan White (2017 - 2021) - ACCE Sheffield/NERC - The Impact of Multiple Selection Pressures on Evolution (co-supervisor with Roger Butlin)

PDRA

  • Dr Thomas Johnson - The coherence of ecological stability among ecosystems and across ecological scales
  • Dr Eva Delmas - Towards a general theory of ecological impacts of multiple, simultaneous stressors
  • Dr Chris Griffiths - The coherence of ecological stability among ecosystems and across ecological scales

MRes and MBiolSci Students

  • Laura Klages - Invasive Species Impacts on Food Webs
  • Lauren Mayo - Using Audio Data to Determine Parrot Species Distributions
Teaching activities

At level 1, I coordinate and teach on APS123 (Population and Community Ecology 1), based on lectures, an all-day field trip and a data presentation workshop.

At Level 2, I coordinate and teach on APS273 (Population and Community Ecology 2), a course combining lectures and a variety of workshops focused on modelling populations and conservation applications.

I also coordinate and teach APS405; APS6606; APS 6607 (Advanced Biological Analysis), a week-long intensive training module for 4th year MBiolSci students, MRes students and fist year PhD students.

I supervised level 4 MBiolSci students with project focused on food webs, phenotypic plasticity, biotechnology and conservation modelling.

Professional activities
  • Editor-in-Chief, Ecology and Evolution (Wiley - BES - SSE- ESEB; 2014 - present)
  • External Examiner, Periodic Review, Life Sciences, University of Liverpool (2019)
  • External Examiner, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Imperial College London (2017-2019)
  • Director of Student Recruitment, School of Biosciences (2018 - present)
  • R4All - Training and Statistics in R