Evolution, behaviour and environment

Mr Owen Middleton

Post:Doctoral Tutor (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment)
Other posts:Research student (Life Sciences)
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What do past extinctions mean for the functioning of modern ecosystems? How do carnivore assemblages differ across the world? How do carnivore diets vary spatially and what does this mean for their ecological functions? 

Owen's PhD topic involves predicting the consequences of mammalian carnivore extinctions for ecological processes at the macro-scale, as well as identifying potential opportunities for trophic rewilding and ecological rewiring.

His research involves using techniques from functional ecology, macroecology and paleoecology to: (1) investigate changes in carnivore assemblages before, and following, the arrival of modern humans, as well as (2) quantifying geographical variation in modern carnivore diets and their ecological functions. This has involved the establishment of macroecological datasets through combining existing trait datasets and using sources from the academic literature. Alongside this, Owen is actively involved in coordinating a citizen science project for The Mammal Society.

Before accepting a collaborative PhD with the Sandom and Scharlemann Labs, Owen completed an integrated Masters of Ecology (MEcol) at the University of Southampton in 2017. With an interest in community ecology and carnivore behavioural ecology, he completed his undergraduate and masters thesis on niche differentiation of neo-tropical felids and behavioural overlap with respective prey species, in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve with Operation Wallacea. This involved working with an international team of scientists, contributing towards a long-term project monitoring felid and ungulate populations through the use of various field survey techniques.





Doctoral Researcher in Biology, University of Sussex


Current            PhD Biology, School of Life Science

2013-2017       MEcol, Master of Science (Integrated) in Ecology, University of Southampton