Dr Tom Matthews DPhil, AFHEA

Dr Tom Matthews

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Senior Research Fellow / Senior Lecturer

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Tom Matthews is a Senior Research Fellow who researches global environmental change issues using macroecological, macroevolutionary and biogeographical approaches. He applies a mixture of theoretical and empirical methods to investigate various macroecological topics. He has a keen interest in island systems and birds, and has published two recent books on species–area relationships (Cambridge Uni. Press) and island biogeography (Oxford Uni. Press).

His research also aims to provide information of use in biodiversity conservation in island systems and fragmented landscapes, and a number of his papers are focused on conservation biogeography issues. His most recent project is focused on the impact of human-driven species extinctions and introductions on island ecosystem functioning and functional diversity.

Qualifications

  • DPhil – University of Oxford
  • MSc – University of Oxford (Distinction)
  • BSc (Hons) – University of Birmingham (First)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Biography

Tom completed his BSc at the University of Birmingham in 2009, before undertaking a year as a researcher at Birmingham focusing on urban ecology under the supervision of Professor Jon Sadler. He then progressed to study an MSc and DPhil at Oxford University under the supervision of Professor Rob Whittaker. His DPhil was entitled: 'analysing, modelling and mitigating the impact of habitat destruction and fragmentation on species diversity: a macroecological perspective.' During his time at Oxford he won numerous awards for his research, including a NERC scholarship, two Royal Geographical Society Awards, and the University of Oxford’s Vice Chancellor’s Award. He joined the University of Birmingham as a Birmingham Fellow in 2016 and currently leads a research group focused on a range of macroecological, biogeographical and conservation topics. He has published over 80 journal articles, two books and three software packages in these fields.

Teaching

Tom currently has second and fourth year tutorial groups, two dissertation supervision groups, and teaches on the following undergraduate modules:

  • Statistical Methods and Tutorials (Year 1)
  • Statistics and applied GIS (Year 1)
  • Environmental Research Frontiers (Year 1)
  • Ecological Systems (Year 2)
  • Conservation into practice (Year 3)

Postgraduate supervision

Qualified and motivated graduate students with similar research interests are welcome to email me. In particular, I am looking for PhD students interested in macroecology/biogeography questions related to different types of species diversity: taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic. I am also interested in supervising students with interests in island biogeography, functional island biogeography, and the study of global environmental change (e.g. habitat loss, climate change, invasive species) on islands.

Current Doctoral Researchers

Lead supervisor

Yating Song (2018 – present) The impact of urbanisation on carnivore species

Joseph Wayman (2018 – present) Holistic approach to global environmental change research

Eva Benavides-Ríos (2021 – present) Island macroecology and the conservation of island biodiversity

Maria Jørgensen (2022 - present) Island biogeography of avian extinctions and introductions

Osanna Chu (2023 - present) Predicting functional diversity loss across islands for plants and birds

Co-supervisor

Imogen Mansfield (2018 – present) Indicators of air pollution-derived stress in birds

Sijeh Asuk (2018 – present) Phenological responses of food producing forest trees to climate change

Aaron Bhambra (2021 - present) Habitat fragmentation and heathland pollinators

Greg Eckhartt (2022 - present) Do wooded networks enhance bird movement in urban areas?

Estelle Darko (2022 - present) Forest Diversity, Dynamics and Resilience in a changing world

Rachel Mailes (2023 - present) Tropical foreast biodiversity and carbon sequestration


Completed students

Thomas Aspin (2016 – 2018) Drought impacts on stream ecosystems
Eva Loza Vega (2017 – 2020) Long term changes in macroinvertebrate communities in streams of Denali National Park, Alaska
Zining Whang (2017 – 2020) Drought impacts on stream ecosystems.
Victoria Pattison-Willits (2019 – 2023) Avian productivity, urbanization and climatic extremes
Ye Li (2017 – 2023) The island biogeography of urban ecosystems.

Research

Tom Matthews is a Senior Research Fellow who researches global environmental change issues using macroecological, macroevolutionary and biogeographical approaches. He applies a mixture of theoretical and empirical methods to investigate various macroecological topics. He has a keen interest in island systems and birds, and has published two recent books on species–area relationships (Cambridge Uni. Press) and island biogeography (Oxford Uni. Press).

His research also aims to provide information of use in biodiversity conservation in island systems and fragmented landscapes, and a number of his papers are focused on conservation biogeography issues. His most recent project is focused on the impact of human-driven species extinctions and introductions on island ecosystem functioning and functional diversity.

Google scholar profile: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jLhtK7QAAAAJ&hl=en 

Research Gate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tom_Matthews5

 

Other activities

  • Associate Researcher in the Biodiversity Research Group, University of the Azores.
  • Visiting Researcher to the Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Japan
  • Member of the Global Endemism and GrassPlot research working group
  • Associate Editor of the journals Journal of Biogeography and Frontiers of Biogeography
  • Member of the British Ecological Society, the International Biogeography Society, the Society for Island Biology, and the Royal Geographical Society

Publications

Recent publications

Book

Whittaker, RJ, Fernández-Palacios, JM & Matthews, T 2023, Island Biogeography: Geo-environmental Dynamics, Ecology, Evolution, Human Impact, and Conservation. Oxford University Press. <https://global.oup.com/academic/product/island-biogeography-9780198868569?>

Article

Zhao, Y, Mendenhall, C, Matthews, T, Wang, D, Li, W, Liu, X, Tang, S, Han, P, Wei, G, Kang, Y, Wu, C, Wang, R, Zeng, D, Frishkoff, LO & Si, X 2024, 'Land-use change interacts with island biogeography to alter bird community assembly', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Matthews, T, Wayman, JP, Whittaker, RJ, Cardoso, P, Hume, JP, Sayol, F, Proios, K, Martin, TE, Baiser, B, Borges, PAV, Kubota, Y, dos Anjos, L, Tobias, JA, Filipa, S, Si, X, Ding, P, Mendenhall, CD, Sin, YCK, Rheindt, FE, Triantis, KA, Guilhaumon, F, Brotons, L, Battisti, C, Chu, O, Rigal, F & Watson, DM 2023, 'A global analysis of avian island diversity–area relationships in the Anthropocene', Ecology Letters, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 965-982. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.14203

Haelewaters, D, Matthews, T, Wayman, JP, Cazabonne, J, Heyman, F, Quandt, CA & Martin, TE 2023, 'Biological knowledge shortfalls impede conservation efforts in poorly studied taxa: a case study of Laboulbeniomycetes', Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14725

Matthews, T 2023, 'Evolution: The rise and fall of island dwarfs and giants', Current Biology, vol. 33, no. 12, pp. R684-R686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2023.04.062

Proios, K, Maroulis, L, Rigal, F, Matthews, TJ, Cameron, RAD, Sfenthourakis, S, Whittaker, RJ, Vardinoyannis, K, Mylonas, M & Triantis, KA 2023, 'Functional diversity and community convergence of land snails in the Aegean Sea islands', Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14740

Asuk, SA, Matthews, TJ, Sadler, JP, Pugh, TAM, Ebu, VT, Ifebueme, NM & Kettridge, N 2023, 'Impact of human foraging on tree diversity, composition, and abundance in a tropical rainforest', Biotropica, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13180

Wayman, JP, Atkinson, G, Jahangir, M, White, D, Matthews, T, Antoniou, M, Reynolds, J & Sadler, J 2023, 'L-band radar quantifies major disturbance of birds by fireworks in an urban area.', Scientific Reports, vol. 13, no. 1, 12085. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-39223-1

Milner, S, Vega, E, Matthews, T, Conn, S & Windsor, FM 2023, 'Long term changes in macroinvertebrate communities across high latitude streams.', Global Change Biology, vol. 29, no. 9, pp. 2466-2477. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16648

Tobias, JA, Sheard, C, Pigot, AL, Devenish, AJM, Yang, J, Sayol, F, Neate‐clegg, MHC, Alioravainen, N, Weeks, TL, Barber, RA, Walkden, PA, Macgregor, HEA, Jones, SEI, Vincent, C, Phillips, AG, Marples, NM, Montaño‐centellas, FA, Leandro‐silva, V, Claramunt, S, Darski, B, Freeman, BG, Bregman, TP, Cooney, CR, Hughes, EC, Capp, EJR, Varley, ZK, Friedman, NR, Korntheuer, H, Corrales‐vargas, A, Trisos, CH, Weeks, BC, Hanz, DM, Töpfer, T, Bravo, GA, Remeš, V, Nowak, L, Carneiro, LS, Moncada R., AJ, Matysioková, B, Baldassarre, DT, Martínez‐salinas, A, Wolfe, JD, Chapman, PM, Daly, BG, Sorensen, MC, Neu, A, Ford, MA, Mayhew, RJ, Fabio Silveira, L, Kelly, DJ, Annorbah, NND, Pollock, HS, Grabowska‐zhang, AM, Mcentee, JP, Carlos T. Gonzalez, J, Meneses, CG, Muñoz, MC, Powell, LL, Jamie, GA, Matthews, TJ, Johnson, O, Brito, GRR, Zyskowski, K, Crates, R, Harvey, MG, Jurado Zevallos, M, Hosner, PA, Bradfer‐lawrence, T, Maley, JM, Stiles, FG, Lima, HS, Provost, KL, Chibesa, M, Mashao, M, Howard, JT, Mlamba, E, Chua, MAH, Li, B, Gómez, MI, García, NC, Päckert, M, Fuchs, J, Ali, JR, Derryberry, EP, Carlson, ML, Urriza, RC, Brzeski, KE, Prawiradilaga, DM, Rayner, MJ, Miller, ET, Bowie, RCK, Lafontaine, R, Scofield, RP, Lou, Y, Somarathna, L, Lepage, D, Illif, M, Neuschulz, EL, Templin, M, Dehling, DM, Cooper, JC, Pauwels, OSG, Analuddin, K, Fjeldså, J, Seddon, N, Sweet, PR, Declerck, FAJ, Naka, LN, Brawn, JD, Aleixo, A, Böhning‐gaese, K, Rahbek, C, Fritz, SA, Thomas, GH, Schleuning, M & Coulson, T (ed.) 2022, 'AVONET: morphological, ecological and geographical data for all birds', Ecology Letters, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 581-597. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13898

Wayman, JP, Sadler, JP, Pugh, TAM, Martin, TE, Tobias, JA & Matthews, TJ 2022, 'Assessing taxonomic and functional change in British breeding bird assemblages over time', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 925-939. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13468

Triantis, KA, Rigal, F, Whittaker, RJ, Hume, JP, Sheard, C, Poursanidis, D, Rolland, J, Sfenthourakis, S, Matthews, T, Thebaud, C & Tobias, J 2022, 'Deterministic assembly and anthropogenic extinctions drive convergence of island bird communities', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 1741-1755. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13556

Editorial

Dawson, MN, Fraser, C, Matthews, T, Procheş, Ş & Sadler, J 2023, 'Journal of Biogeography Innovation Awards, 2023', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 50, no. 7, pp. 1329-1330. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14630

Williams, JW, Taylor, A, Tolley, KA, Provete, DB, Correia, R, Guedes, TB, Farooq, H, Li, Q, Pinheiro, HT, Liz, AV, Luna, LW, Matthews, TJ, Palmeirim, AF, Puglielli, G, Rivadeneira, MM, Robin, VV, Schrader, J, Shestakova, TA, Tukiainen, H, von der Heyden, S & Zizka, A 2023, 'Shifts to open access with high article processing charges hinder research equity and careers', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 1485-1489. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14697

Letter

Aspin, T, Khamis, K, Matthews, T, Williams, G, Windsor, FM, Woodward, G & Ledger, M 2023, 'Extra terrestrials: drought creates niche space for rare invertebrates in a large-scale and long-term field experiment', Biology Letters, vol. 19, no. 11, 20230381. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2023.0381

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