Faculty of Biological Sciences

Dr Alison Dunn

BA, Oxford; PhD 1990, Leeds.
Reader in Evolutionary Ecology
School of Biology

Contact:  Manton 8.09, +44(0) 113 34 32856, email address for  

Slowing the Spread of Invasive Non Native Species

Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) are a leading cause of biodiversity loss and threaten ecosystem services. For example, zebra mussels block water pipes, crayfish plague threatens our native crayfish, floating pennywort can lead to flooding. Freshwaters ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the spread of INNS through trade, transport, recreation and environmental management. Once INNS become established it is often difficult and expensive to manage them. Biosecurity is a critical first line of defence to prevent their introduction and spread. We are researching effective, practical biosecurity practices for application in a range of field conditions. We are also increasing the awareness and uptake of biosecurity across diverse stakeholders.

In collaboration with the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, The Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England, Forestry Commission, National Trust, Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, Ribble Rivers Trust, Dales to Vale River Network, Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum (YSIP), Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Parasites in Ecological Communities

Interactions between competitors, predators and their prey have long been viewed as the foundation of community structure. Parasites – long ignored in community ecology- are now recognised as playing an important part in influencing species interactions. We are particularly interested in the effects that parasites can have on host behaviour and life history (trait mediated effects), how this in turn affects competitive, predator-prey and other consumer-resource interactions, and the outcome for community structure and ecosystem function.

In collaboration with the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Parasites and Biological Invasions

Biological invasions lead to novel ecological interactions between native and invasive species. Parasites are important players in these interactions. Parasites can change the outcome of interactions between native and invasive species; invasive species may lose their parasite; and parasites can themselves be biological invaders with the potential to lead to emerging infectious diseases. We are interested in the outcome of these novel interactions, in predicting and reducing the risk of disease emergence, and in the potential for harnessing diseases for biocontrol.

In collaboration with the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Funding for these projects comes from NERC, BBSRC, the University of Leeds and from our project partners. My work involves collaboration across the University of Leeds where I am based in the Ecology and Evolution Research Group. I am also an active member of Water@Leeds and collaborate with staff from the School of Geography and the Sustainability Research Institute.

 

Faculty Research and Innovation



Studentship information

Postgraduate studentship areas:

  • Parasite sex ratio distortion and co evolution of parasites and hosts

See also:

Modules managed

BLGY2321 - Marine Zoology Field Course
BLGY3135 - Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death

Modules taught

BLGY1128 - Living Planet
BLGY1300 - Coastal and Upland Habitats Field Course
BLGY1304 - Research Experience and Skills Level 1
BLGY2301 - Research Experience and Skills Level 2
BLGY2321 - Marine Zoology Field Course
BLGY3135 - Advanced Topics in Behaviour: from sex to death
BLGY3245 - Advanced Topics in Evolution
BLGY3340 - Biology Research Projects
BLGY3395 - Advanced Research Skills and Experience
BLGY3396 - Research Literature Review
BLGY5107M - Biodiversity and Conservation Skills I
BLGY5108M/5111M - MSc/MRes Bio & Cons Skills II
BLGY5380M - Extended Research Project

Committees

Member of Undergraduate School Taught Student Education Committee (Programme Manager: Zoology)

Centre membership: The Earth and Biosphere Institute

Group Leader Dr Alison Dunn  (Reader in Evolutionary Ecology)

Dr Melanie Hatcher  (Visiting Research Fellow)

Dr Stephanie Peay  (Visiting fellow)


Postgraduates

Jamie Bojko (Primary supervisor) 90% FTE
Stephanie Bradbeer (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Mandy Bunke (Primary supervisor) 100% FTE
William Fincham (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Caitriona Shannon (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Nigel Taylor (Primary supervisor) 90% FTE
Daniel Warren (Primary supervisor) 50% FTE
Myrna Barjau Pérez Milicua (Co-supervisor) 40% FTE
Thomas Doherty-Bone (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Giovanna Villalobos Jiménez (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE
Robert Williams (Co-supervisor) 50% FTE