Dr Becky Morris

I have moved to Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

My Southampton webpage is here and my new email address is r.j.morris(at)soton.ac.uk


Research Interests

I lead a research group quantifying the structure, dynamics and functioning of ecological communities, and investigating how they respond to environmental change. I have a long-standing interest in transferring ecological theory into the field to test predictions about how ecological mechanisms, including density- and trait-mediated indirect interactions, structure networks. I use a range of empirical and quantitative approaches, particularly rigorous, large-scale manipulative experiments. Much of my work involves insects, primarily herbivorous insects and their parasitoids and host plants, and takes place in natural and human-modified tropical rainforests.

I am leading a socio-ecological collaboration promoting the resilience of subsistence farming to El Niño events in Papua New Guinea. I am also a principal investigator in the LOMBOK consortium, working at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project Site in Borneo. We are combining surveys of biodiversity and biogeochemistry along a gradient of forest modification with in situ manipulative experiments, to gain a mechanistic understanding links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.


Selected Publications

  • Terry, J. C. D., Morris, R. J. and Bonsall, M. B. (2017). Trophic interaction modifications: an empirical and theoretical framework. Ecology Letters, 20: 1219–1230. doi:10.1111/ele.12824
  • Tylianakis, J.M. & Morris, R.J. (2017) Ecological Networks Across Environmental Gradients. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48:1 Review in advance
  • Barbosa, M., Lewis, O.T., Wilson Fernandes, G. & Morris, R.J. (2017) Experimentally reducing species abundance indirectly affects food web structure and robustness. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86, 327-336.
  • Morris, R.J., Sinclair, F. & Burwell, C.J. (2015) Food web structure changes with elevation but not rainforest strata. Ecography, 38, 792–802. doi: 10.1111/ecog.01078
  • Maunsell, S.C., Kitching, R.L., Burwell, C.J. and Morris, R.J. (2015) Changes in host-parasitoid food web structure with elevation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84, 353-363. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12285
  • Morris, R.J., Gripenberg, S., Lewis, O.T. & Roslin, T. (2014) Antagonistic interaction networks are structured independently of latitude and host guild. Ecology Letters 17, 340–349.
  • Schleuning M., Fründ J., Klein A.-M., Abrahamczyk S., Alarcón R., Albrecht M., Andersson Georg K. S., Bazarian S., Böhning-Gaese K., Bommarco R., Dalsgaard B., Dehling D. M., Gotlieb A., Hagen M., Hickler T., Holzschuh A., Kaiser-Bunbury Christopher N., Kreft H., Morris, R. J., Sandel B., Sutherland W.J., Svenning J.-C., Tscharntke T., Watts S., Weiner C.N., Werner M., Williams N. M., Winqvist C., Dormann C. F. and Blüthgen N. (2012) Specialization of mutualistic interaction networks decreases toward tropical latitudes. Current Biology 22, 1925-1931
  • Morris, R.J. (2010) Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365, 3709-3718.
  • Pearce, S., Gibson, R., Polaszek, A., Morris, R. J., Craze, P.G., Planqué R., Symondson, W.O.C. & Memmott, J. (2009) Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control Ecology Letters 12, 229–238.
  • van Veen, F., Morris, R.J. & Godfray, H.C.J. (2006) Apparent competition, quantitative food webs, and the structure of phytophagous insect communities. Annual Review of Entomology 51, 187–208.
  • Morris, R.J., Lewis, O.T. & Godfray, H.C.J. (2004) Experimental evidence for apparent competition in a tropical forest food web. Nature 428, 310-313