Ph.D., University of Cambridge
M.A.St., University of Cambridge
M.Sci., University of Durham
We work with theoretical models and a broad range of data to understand patterns of biodiversity, from tropical forests to host-associated microbial systems like the human microbiome
Ecological systems are the archetypal complex systems. They are typically heterogeneous, display non-equilibrium phenomena, are strongly interacting, noisy, and adapt over time. I bring together theory, experiment, and empirical data to try to understand how ecological processes drive the patterns of species and organisms we see in nature.
Some phenomena are almost universal across widely differing systems, which aids the prediction of patterns of biodiversity with limited knowledge of the underlying processes. Other patterns are highly contigent, providing important signatures of the differences between ecological systems. My research explores this tension, with the ultimate goal of establishing what are the key forces driving biodiversity across the globe.
- Butler S, O’Dwyer JP (2018) Stability Criteria for Complex Microbial Communities. Accepted at Nature Communications (Preprint).
- O’Dwyer JP, Cornell, SJ (2018) Cross-scale neutral ecology and the maintenance of biodiversity. Accepted at Scientific Reports (Preprint).
- O'Dwyer JP (2018) Whence Lotka-Volterra? Conservation Laws and Integrable Systems in Ecology. Theoretical Ecology (Preprint).
- Sutton NM, O’Dwyer JP. (2018) Born to run? Quantifying the balance of prior bias and new information in prey escape decisions. Accepted at American Naturalist.
- D'Andrea R, Ostling AM, O'Dwyer JP (2018) Translucent windows: how uncertainty in competitive interactions impacts detection of community pattern. Ecology Letters 21: 826-835 (Preprint).
- O'Dwyer JP (2017) Contests between species aid biodiversity. Nature 548:166-167.
- O'Dwyer JP, Rominger A, Xiao X (2017) Reinterpreting Maximum Entropy in Ecology: a null hypothesis constrained by ecological mechanism. Ecology Letters 20: 832–841
- O'Dwyer JP, Kandler A (2017) Inferring processes of cultural transmission: the critical role of rare variants in distinguishing neutrality from novelty biases. In press at Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
- O'Dwyer JP, Kembel SW, Sharpton TJ (2015) Backbones of evolutionary history test biodiversity theory for microbes Proc Natl Acad Sci112:8356–8361
- O'Dwyer JP & Green JL (2010) Field theory for biogeography: a spatially-explicit model for predicting patterns of biodiversity. Ecology Letters 13: 87-95.
- O'Dwyer JP, Lake JK, Ostling A, Savage VM & Green JL (2009) An integrative framework for stochastic, size-structured community assembly. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:6170-6175.