Dr Tom Matthews DPhil, AFHEA

Dr Tom Matthews

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

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

Tom Matthews is a Birmingham 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, including species-area relationships and species abundance distributions. He has a keen interest in island systems, and in particular the application of island theory to habitat island systems.

His research also aims to provide information of use in biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes and island systems, and a number of his papers are focused on conservation biogeography issues. Recently, he has started to focus 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

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. During this time he also published over twenty peer-reviewed journal articles.

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

Eva Loza Vega (2014-) Long term changes in macroinvertebrate communities
Zining Wang (2014-) Drought impacts on stream ecosystems.
Ye Li (Izzy)(2017 -) The island biogeography of urban ecosystems.
Yating Song (2018 - ) Island biogeography in urban systems.
Joseph Wayman (2018 - ) Holistic approach to environmental change.
Imogen Mansfield (2018 - ) Indicators of air pollution-derived stress in birds.
Sijeh Asuk (2018 - ) Phenology of tropical food-producing tree species.

Completed Doctoral Researchers

Thomas Aspin (2014-2018) Drought impacts on stream ecosystems.

Research

Tom Matthews is a Birmingham 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, including species-area relationships and species abundance distributions. In particular, his research has aimed to discern how diversity (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic) is affected by environmental change, with a particular focus on habitat loss and fragmentation and the structure of ecological communities in fragmented landscapes. He has a keen interest in island systems, and in particular the application of island theory to habitat island systems.

His research also aims to provide information of use in biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes and island systems, and a number of his papers are focused on conservation biogeography issues. Recently, he has started to focus 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

  • Research Associate in the School of Geography, University of Oxford.
  • 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 Island Biogeography working group (OXIB).
  • Member of the British Ecological Society, the International Biogeography Society, the Society for Island Biology, and the Royal Geographical Society

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Liu, J, Matthews, TJ, Zhong, L, Liu, J, Wu, D, Yu, M & Hector, A (ed.) 2019, 'Environmental filtering underpins the island species–area relationship in a subtropical anthropogenic archipelago', Journal of Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13272

Leveau, L, Ruggiero, A, Matthews, T & Bellocq, MI 2019, 'A global consistent positive effect of urban green area size on bird richness', Avian Research, vol. 10, 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40657-019-0168-3

Matthews, T 2019, 'Species-area relationships in continuous vegetation: evidence from Palaearctic grasslands', Journal of Biogeography.

Matthews, T, Aspin, T, Ulrich, W, Baselga, A, Kubota, Y, Proios, K, Triantis, KA, Whittaker, RJ & Strona, G 2019, 'Can additive beta-diversity be reliably partitioned into nestedness and turnover components?', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 1146-1154. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12921

Matthews, T, Triantis, K, Whittaker, RJ & Guilhaumon, F 2019, 'SARS: an R package for fitting, evaluating and comparing species–area relationship models', Ecography, vol. 42, no. 8, pp. 1353-1457. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04271

Matthews, T, Rigal, F, Triantis, KA & Whittaker, RJ 2019, 'A global model of island species–area relationships', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 116, no. 25, pp. 12337–12342. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818190116

Leigh, C, Aspin, TWH, Matthews, TJ, Rolls, RJ & Ledger, ME 2019, 'Drought alters the functional stability of stream invertebrate communities through time', Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13638

Matthews, T & Aspin, T 2019, 'Model averaging fails to improve the extrapolation capability of the island species–area relationship', Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13598

Matthews, T, Sadler, J, Kubota, Y, Woodall, CW & Pugh, T 2019, 'Systematic variation in North American tree species abundance distributions along macroecological climatic gradients', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 28, no. 5, pp. 601-611. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12879

Mittermeier, JC, Roll, U, Matthews, T & Grenyer, R 2019, 'A season for all things: phenological imprints in Wikipedia usage and their relevance to conservation', PLoS Biology, vol. 17, no. 3, e3000146. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000146

Matthews, T, Borregaard, MK, Gillespie, CS, Rigal, F, Ugland, KI, Ferreira Krüger, R, Marques, R, Sadler, J, Borges, PAV, Kubota, Y & Whittaker, RJ 2019, 'Extension of the gambin model to multimodal species abundance distributions', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 432-437. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13122

Aspin, T, Khamis, K, Matthews, T, Milner, A, O'Callaghan, M, Trimmer, M, Woodward, G & Ledger, M 2019, 'Extreme drought pushes stream invertebrate communities over functional thresholds', Global Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 230-244. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14495

Matthews, T 2018, 'Archipelagos and meta-archipelagos', Frontiers of Biogeography, vol. 10, no. 3-4. https://doi.org/10.21425/F5FBG41470

Ulrich, W, Nakadai, R, Matthews, TJ & Kubota, Y 2018, 'The two-parameter Weibull distribution as a universal tool to model the variation in species relative abundances', Ecological Complexity, vol. 36, pp. 110-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2018.07.002

Aspin, TWH, Matthews, TJ, Khamis, K, Milner, AM, Wang, Z, O'callaghan, MJ & Ledger, ME 2018, 'Drought intensification drives turnover of structure and function in stream invertebrate communities', Ecography, vol. 41, no. 12, pp. 1992-2004. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03711, https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03711

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