Chris D Thomas

Contact details

Type of addressPostal address
Postal codeYO10 5DD
CountryUnited Kingdom
Address lines
  • Biology
    University of York
    Wentworth Way
    YO10 5DD

Phone: (01904) 328646

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Prof. Chris D Thomas, FRS


Areas of expertise

  • Climate change impacts in ecology
  • Conservation
  • Butterfly ecology
  • Biodiversity

PhD opportunities

PhD research projects (self/overseas funded projects)

1. Anthropocene evolution: causes, rates and consequences.

How will species survive the Anthropocene, the period of Earth’s history when humans are becoming a dominant force? Will animals, plants and microbes be able to evolve fast enough to adjust to the new conditions? This PhD project aims to provide the first synthesis of Anthropocene evolution.

The aim is to provide a novel synthesis, using a new analytical approach, informing scientists and policy makers about the likelihood that populations and species will survive through evolutionary change, as opposed to becoming extinct.

2. The accumulation of species in novel Anthropocene habitats.

The project will examine the diversity of species associated with new habitat types that have been created by humans. The student will develop a model for species accumulation, dependent on the isolation of derived habitats from potential sources of colonists and the time over which the derived habitat has been available for colonisation. The model will be tested by comparing the predicted patterns of diversity with those observed, using a combination of existing data sources and new data collected by the student.

3. The roles of geographic history, phylogeny and functional traits on the impacts of biological invasions on diversity changes of invaded communities and regions.

We know that some biological communites are easier to invade than others, and that some types of organism are more effective invaders than others. However, there is little information available on understanding why some invasions increase and others decrease local and regional diversity. This project will use data from the literature to analyse diversity changes in relation to the attributes of the 'invaded communities', relative the the types of communities from which the invading species arose.