Dr Emma Hughes
School of Biosciences
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
+44 114 222 0132
Full contact details
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
- Teaching Associate, University of Sheffield (2022-present)
- Research Assistant NERC Traits, Natural History Museum (2022)
- PhD, Macroecology, University of Sheffield (2016-22)
- Research Assistant, University of Sheffield (2014-16)
- MBiolSci Zoology, University of Sheffield (2010-14)
- Research interests
My research focuses on quantifying and understanding current and future biogeographic patterns of avian biodiversity. Birds are an incredibly diverse group of vertebrates spanning nearly all terrestrial land masses. I use morphological trait data from museum specimens to identify communities of exceptional diversity of species traits, and use this to explain global patterns of niche packing and expansion.
Traits link to the ecological roles that species fulfil within ecosystems, and many are important to humans as ecosystem services. In a rapidly changing world, the conservation of the evolutionary history, morphology, and ecological roles that species represent is of critical importance. I explore the impacts of the anthropogenic extinction crisis on species trait diversity, and phylogenetic diversity.
Macroecology, biogeography, phylogenetic diversity, trait diversity, conservation, biodiversity.
- The homogenization of avian morphological and phylogenetic diversity under the global extinction crisis. Current Biology. View this article in WRRO
- AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds. Ecology Letters, 25(3), 581-597. View this article in WRRO
- Global biogeographic patterns of avian morphological diversity. Ecology Letters, 25(3), 598-610. View this article in WRRO
- The evolution of the traplining pollinator role in hummingbirds : specialization is not an evolutionary dead end. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 289(1967). View this article in WRRO
- Allometric conservatism in the evolution of bird beaks. Evolution Letters, 6(1), 83-91. View this article in WRRO
- The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1938). View this article in WRRO
- The signature of competition in ecomorphological traits across the avian radiation: Competition and trait macroevolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287(1938). View this article in WRRO
- The effects of tropical secondary forest regeneration on avian phylogenetic diversity. Journal of Applied Ecology, 57(7), 1351-1362. View this article in WRRO
- Correlates of rate heterogeneity in avian ecomorphological traits. Ecology Letters, 21(10), 1505-1514. View this article in WRRO
- Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds. Nature, 542(7641), 344-347. View this article in WRRO
- Smaller birds with warmer temperatures. Nature Ecology & Evolution.
- Innovation and elaboration on the avian tree of life, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
- 2019 On CampUS Placement Project Supervisor (£1,000) Museum Curatorial and Database Assistant
- 2019 Postgraduate Researcher Experience Programme Bursary (£525) Museum Curatorial and Database Assistant
- 2018 Alumni Foundation Grant, University of Sheffield (£780) British Bird Skull and Egg Re-curation
- 2017 On CampUS Placement Project Supervisor (£1,000) Museum Curatorial and Database Assistant
- 2017 Alumni Foundation Grant, University of Sheffield (£1,750) 3D printer
- 2017 Widening Participation Fund, University of Sheffield (£400) Outreach Materials for Alfred Denny Museum
- Professional activities and memberships
Curatorial Assistant and Public Engagement, Alfred Denny Museum:
I manage recruitment and training of a student workforce to deliver tours of the Alfred Denny Museum for public open days and other University events. I am working closely with colleagues to database and conserve all museum material to ensure its long-term survival. I lead training in taxonomy, databasing, species identification, insect pinning and specimen restoration.