School of Life Sciences
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Tom Reader

Lecturer in Ecology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

2004 - Present. University Lecturer, University of Nottingham.

2002 - 2003. Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Sydney.

1997 - 2001. PhD, Zoology Dept, Cambridge University.

1994 - 1997. BSc (hons) Biological Sciences, Lancaster University.

Teaching Summary

I teach a range of modules in ecology, behaviour and statistics, and I am responsible for running the four year MSci degree.

I believe that teaching and research are critically dependent on one another, and I get immense satisfaction from both parts of my job. I am Deputy Head of Teaching in the School of Life Sciences, and hold a Dearing Award for excellence in teaching.

The Behaviour and Ecology Research Group has worked together with undergraduate students to publish a wide range of primary research papers over the years. For more information, see our website:

http://ecology.nottingham.ac.uk/teaching.html

My teaching occurs in three main areas:

1) I teach population and behavioural ecology to second year undergraduates (in Ecology, C12338), the fundamentals of adaptation by natural selection to third years (in Evolution and Behaviour, C13583), and the conservation biology of invasive species (in Conservation, C13696). I also co-convene the Behavioural Ecology Field Course (C12466) in Portugal.

2) I teach statistics and experimental design to students in all years of their undergraduate degree, and act as statistical advisor to many postgraduates. The core principle I teach is that good research is not possible without a proper understanding of the likelihood of data arising by chance under the null hypothesis. Relevant modules I convene are: Experimental Design and Analysis 1 (C11111); Advanced Experimental Design and Analysis (C14703).

3) I am responsible for the running of the four-year MSci degree. I teach students transferable research skills (in Research Presentation Skills, C14705) and convene the fourth year project (C14707).

Research Summary

I study the evolutionary, behavioural and population ecology of animals. My research involves both theoretical and empirical studies, with the focus being on invertebrates and their natural enemies.… read more

Selected Publications

Current Research

I study the evolutionary, behavioural and population ecology of animals. My research involves both theoretical and empirical studies, with the focus being on invertebrates and their natural enemies. My primary research interests at present are:

a) Visual and acoustic signals in invertebrates, with a particular focus on mimicry and signal polymorphism.

b) Spatial patterns and processes in populations and communities.

You can find out more about my research and opportunities for students on my personal website:

http://ecology.nottingham.ac.uk/reader.html

Meet some of my study organisms:

A crab spider (Synaema globosum) devours a honeybee on a lavender inflorescence. I am interested in the effects of predators on plant-pollinator interactions, and in the evolutionary ecology of colour polymoprhism, like that displayed in S. globosum. Photo courtesy of Richard Du Feu.

Many hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) are superb mimics of noxious wasps or bees. But why are many species poor mimics? My work involves using computer games to simulate the evolution of mimetic signals.

Gregarious caterpillars like those of Doratifera casta suffer the costs of competition, so why do they still hang around in groups? I am studying the causes and consequences of grouping behaviour in nematode worms and caterpillars.

School of Life Sciences

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham NG7 2UH

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