Photo of Prof David Atkinson

Prof David Atkinson Ph.D.

Professor of Integrative Ecology Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour

    Biography

    Personal Statement

    My passion is to understand and predict adaptive responses of organisms, and impacts on ecosystems, arising from widespread environmental change (e.g. climate, eutrophication).

    Our investigations focus particularly on adaptation to temperature, and the fundamental impacts of body size, temperature, and resource flux on rates of biological processes at levels of organization ranging from individuals to ecosystems.

    These biological processes include resource uptake, growth, development, population growth, ecosystem respiration and photosynthesis.

    Working at the interface of ecology, evolution and physiology, we advance new theory, including novel metabolic scaling theory; perform experiments on whole ecosystems and populations; and carry out biological and ecological syntheses (meta-analyses) to quantify global trends.

    Personal Distinctions

    • Invited talk: The Fogg lecture. Body size, shape, and the pace of life (Invitation to Speak, Queen Mary University of London 2014)
    • Invited talk: Shape-shifting resolves contradictions in metabolic scaling (Invitation to Speak, Society for Experimental Biology, Valencia, Spain 2013)
    • Invited talk: Temperature and the Speed of Life-sustaining Processes. (Invitation to Speak, European Science Foundation, Sitges, Spain 2012)
    • Invited keynote talk: A Fresh Look at the Temperature-Size Rule (Keynote Speech, European Science Foundation Programme -Thermal Adaptation of Ectotherms, Tartu, Estonia 2011)
    • Invited talk: A New Approach to Predicting Biological Rates (Invitation to Speak, University of Plymouth 2011)
    • Invited keynote talk: A Metabolic Approach to Climate Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems (Keynote Speech, German national research council - Aquashift programme 2010)
    • Co-Chair of Gordon Research Conference (Frontiers of Science) (Gordon Research Conference, Metabolic Basis of Ecology 2010)
    • Invited Symposium Talk 'Ecology of Metabolic Scaling' (Invitation to Speak, British Ecological Society 2009)
    • Vice Chair of Gordon Research Conference (Frontiers of Science) (Gordon Research Conference - Metabolic Basis of Ecology, USA 2008)
    • First Prize (Best Poster) in General Animal Biology Symposium (Society for Experimental Biology 2008)
    • Invited talk: Thermal Adaptation (Invitation to Speak, Indiana State University, USA 2007)
    • Invited keynote talk: Integrated Thermal Adaptation Across Levels of Body Organization (Keynote Speech, European Science Foundation Programme, Thermal Adaptation 2007)
    • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Thermal Biology (Journal of Thermal Biology 2007)
    • Invited talk on The Temperature-Size Rule in Ectotherms (Invitation to Speak, Queens University, Belfast 2006)
    • Invited Symposium Talk on Life Histories and Body Size (Invitation to Speak, British Ecological Society 2005)
    • Invited talk on Biological Laws and Rules Involving Body Size and Temperature (Invitation to Speak, The University of Plymouth 2005)
    • Invited Symposium Talk on Climate Impacts on Freshwaters (Invitation to Speak, British Ecological Society, Freshwater Biological Association, Marine Biological Association 2004)

    Administrative Roles

    • Deputy Research Theme Lead, Adaptation to Environmental Change
    • Deputy Director of the Honours School of Biological Sciences.
    • Module organiser: Conservation Biology (LIFE326), Ecology and the Global Environment (LIFE120)

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