Project proposal details

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Project title
Can metabolic theory predict invasion success?
Contact name
Samraat Pawar
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Imperial contact email
Project description
The objective of this project is to perform meta-analyses of global datasets to test predictions of mechanistic mathematical models about effects of "mismatches" (e.g., differences in temperature sensitivity or phenology) in thermal physiology between resident and invasive species on invasion success. Depending upon the student's interests and project duration, the project may be either modeling or meta-analysis oriented. In particular, the project may involve the compilation of a new empirical database that quantifies mismatches in thermal physiology of interacting species and/or species invasion success rates.

1. Dell, A. I., Pawar, S., & Savage, V. M. (2014). Temperature dependence of trophic interactions are driven by asymmetry of species responses and foraging strategy. The Journal of Animal Ecology, 83(1), 70--84.
2. Reuman, D. C., Holt, R. D., & Yvon-durocher, G. (2014). A metabolic perspective on competition and body size reductions with warming. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83(1), 59--69.
3. Higgins, S. I. & Richardson, D. M. Invasive plants have broader physiological niches. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2014).
4. Sax, D. F. et al. Ecological and evolutionary insights from species invasions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22, 465–471 (2007).
Additional requirements
Computer programming, possibly in R or Python
Available support
Desk space, computer.
Date uploaded

Project proposal limitations

The project proposer has indicated that there are some limitations to the availability of this project. It may only be available at certain times of year or suit a specific project length. It may also need skills taught to students on a particular course or courses.

Research project proposals are usually part of an active research programme. If supervisors have stated limitations to a proposal, then they are unlikely to have any flexibility. If you are very interested in the topic but have problems with the stated limitations, the supervisor may still be happy to talk to you about other options around the proposal, but you should not expect that any alternative arrangements can be made.

Project length limitations
5 months, 9 months
Available date limitations
Winter (January), Spring (April-May)
Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation, Conservation Science, Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MSc), Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MRes), Ecological Applications, Ecosystem and Environmental Change MRes