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Dr Tom Webb

Dr Tom Webb


University of Sheffield


Macroecology, biodiversity, data analysis and visualisation

Tom is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield. He is a macroecologist by training, interested in explaining large scale patterns and dynamics in biodiversity, and he is a founding member of the British Ecological Society’s Macroecology Special Interest Group. He has worked on various different systems, and is interested in increasing communication between marine ecologists and the ecological ‘mainstream’, for instance through the Planet Earth, Planet Ocean Tansley Working Group he is currently leading. In a marine context, as well as his role leading Module 1 of MERP, he has also worked extensively with global datasets, in particular with the IOC/UNESCO-funded Ocean Biogeographic Information System, the World Register of Marine Species, and the EU marine observation and data initiative EMODNet. He is on the UN Pool of Experts on Oceans, and is contributing to the forthcoming World Oceans Assessment. He has a keen interest in developing the computational and statistical methods required as the study of ecology and biodiversity moves into the age of big data.

Selected Publications

Marine and terrestrial ecology: unifying concepts, revealing differences. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27, 535–541 doi:10.1016/j.tree.2012.06.002

Tyler, E. H. M., Somerfield, P. J., Berghe, E. V., Bremner, J., Jackson, E., Langmead, O., Palomares, M. L. D., & Webb, T. J. (2012). Extensive gaps and biases in our knowledge of a well‚Äźknown fauna: implications for integrating biological traits into macroecology. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21, 922–934. doi:10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00726.x

Selim, S. A., Blanchard, J. L., Bedford, J., & Webb, T. J. (2014). Direct and indirect effects of climate and fishing on changes in coastal ecosystem services: a historical perspective from the North Sea. Regional Environmental Change doi:10.1007/s10113-014-0635-7

Webb, T., Tyler, E., & Somerfield, P. (2009). Life history mediates large-scale population ecology in marine benthic taxa. Marine Ecology Progress Series 396, 239–306. doi:10.3354/meps08253

Webb, T., Aleffi, I., Amouroux, J., Bachelet, G., Degraer, S., Dounas, C., et al. (2009). Macroecology of the European soft sediment benthos: insights from the MacroBen database. Marine Ecology Progress Series 382, 287–296. doi:10.3354/meps07754

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