When we harvest individuals from a population, or when predation occurs, the relationship between the population and its environment is continuously perturbed. I am interested in understanding how perturbations, such as harvesting and predation, alter the density-dependent relationships within and between life-history stages in structured populations. Ultimately science requires to know how we can predict the response of animal populations to perturbations, and working with experimental systems, my aim is to investigate the effects of harvesting and predation on population and community dynamics


NEW PAPER IN OIKOS! Experimental study in mite dispersal as effected by stage of development, natal habitat conditions and current habitat suitability. Should be out in December, watch this space... he he

NEW PAPER IN ECOLOGY LETTERS! The newest synthesis gets more support from an empirical study of how ecology and evolution interact to influence contemporary population dynamics. This open access paper can be found here



FANTI-SIZE: FAcilitated Niche creation Through Indirect SIZE-structured Interactions

The role of body size variation on the stability, diversity and dynamics of ecological communities has never been understated, but mechanisms remain poorly understood. Ontogenetic asymmetry is an entirely new approach on how allometrically scaled interactions are thought to affect community dynamics. It has gained recent popularity by combining experimental ecology with theoretical developments. Developing this emerging and comprehensive discipline of community ecology will be the subject of Marie Curie Fellowship within the Freshwater ecology research group of Professor Lennart Persson. Specifically I shall determine the role of indirect facilitation, via a shared and structured prey population, in promoting and maintaining predator diversity and abundance. (see project page and Predation section below)


Understanding Eco-Evolutionary responses to perturbations

Population managers often target certain life-history stages of a natural resource to obtain the maximum yield or profit. In doing so, a strong selection pressure is placed on population (st)age classes to avoid harvest mortality and reach or maintain reproductive potential. This may involve growing fast to outgrow a preferred harvest size-class, or maturing when young and small to make sure that you contribute to the gene pool before you are harvested. Either way, selection pressure can again change the relationship between the average population life-history, the population size and the environment. Using the mite model system, and working with Tim Benton at University of Leeds and Stuart Piertney at the University of Aberdeen, I ask two questions (a) What effects harvesting can have on the evolution of resource life-history? And (b) Does taking account of harvesting induced Life-History evolution explain more of the observed changes we see in natural over-exploited populations?

Tom C. Cameron; Daniel O'Sullivan; Alan Reynolds; Stuart B Piertney; Tim G. Benton. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in response to selection on life histories. Ecology Letters (2013) DOI: 10.1111/ele.12107

Arpat Ozgul; Tim Coulson; Alan Reynolds; Tom C. Cameron; Tim G. Benton. Population responses to Perturbations: The importance of trait-based analyses illustrated through a microcosm experiment. American Naturalist (2012)

Cameron, T.C.; Benton, T.G.  The response of stage structure to harvesting: an emprical test in constant and variable environments Journal of Animal Ecology 73, pp.996-1006, (2004)

Benton T.G.; Cameron T.C.; Grant, A. Predicting the effects of perturbations on population size: an empirical test of elasticity analysis  Journal of Animal Ecology 73, pp.983-995, (2004)


Predation, Competition and Coexistence

Experimental communities of insects and their parasitoids, predators and pathogens lend themselves well to mimic the trophic interactions found in natural insect food webs (i.e. competition, predation, parasitism). In particular I am interested in the effects of age-structure, infection, parasitism and consumption on competitive dynamics and coexistence? In general I explore the relative importance of consumtion, disturbance and competition in structuring ecological communities in space and time in both field and laboratory systems.

Moustakas, A.; Kunin, W.E.; Cameron, T.C.; Sankaran, M. Facilitation or Competition: Tree effects on grass biomass across a precipitation gradient. PLOS One (2013)

Backhouse, A.; Sait, S.M.; Cameron, T.C.; Multiple mating in the traumatically inseminating Warehouse pirate bug, Xylocoris flavipes: effects on fecundity and longevity. Biology Letters (2012)

Whitfield, S.; Curtin, C.G.; Cameron, T.C.; Kunin, W.E. Interactions among fire, herbivores and vegetation in a semi-arid grassland Desert Plants 24, pp.23-28, (2008)

Cameron, T.C.; Metcalfe, D.; Beckerman, A.P.; Sait, S.M.  Intraspecific competition and the role of the lag between infection and death in host-parasitoid interactions Ecology 88, pp.1225-1231, (2007)
Cameron, T.C.; Wearing, H.J.; Rohani, P.; Sait, S.M.  Two species asymmetric competition: Effects of age structure on intra- and interspecific interactions Journal of Animal Ecology 76, pp.83-93, (2007)
Cameron T.C.; Wearing H.J.; Rohani P.; Sait S.M.  A koinobiont parasitoid mediates competition and generates additive mortality in healthy host populations Oikos 110, pp.620-628, (2005)

Wearing, H.; Rohani, P.; Cameron, T.; Sait, S.M.  The Dynamical Consequences of Developmental Variability and Demographic Stochasticity for Host-Parasitoid Interactions The American Naturalist 164, pp.543-558, (2004)

Wearing H.; Sait, S.M.; Cameron T.C.; Rohani P.  Stage-structured competition and the cyclic dynamics of host-parasitoid populations Journal of Animal Ecology 73, pp.706 - 722, (2004)

Rohani, P.; Wearing, H.; Cameron, T.C.; Sait, S.M.  Natural enemy specialization and the period of population cycles Ecology Letters 6, pp.381-384, (2003)
Cameron T.C. 2002: the year of the 'diversity-ecosyetm function debate' Trends in Ecology & Evolution 17, pp.496-496, (2002)

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