Susan Elaine Hartleyis a British ecologist and is Vice-President for Research at the University of Sheffield. Previously she was director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI) at the University of York and Professor of Ecology at the University of Sussex, specialising in interactions between plants and animals. In December 2009 she delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on The 300 Million Years War, broadcast on More4.
Sue Hartley attended St Hugh's College, University of Oxford, England, where she undertook an undergraduate BA degree in biochemistry. She then studied for DPhil postgraduate degree at the University of York in field of ecology. Her research considered the defences used by plants against being eaten by insects.
Hartley worked at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, located close to Aberdeen in Scotland. Here she researched herbivorous foraging by animals such as red deer and sheep, considering the effect on the moorlands. She moved to the University of Sussex in 2001, where she was a Reader and then Professor in the School of Biological Sciences. At Sussex, Hartley's research group studies how plants defend themselves from being eaten and also how plant responses to herbivores affect other organisms that attack plants. In addition, she researches into interactions between plants and herbivores, including projects on camels and goats overgrazing in the Sinai desert and on the impact of insects consuming tropical tree seedlings in Borneo and Uganda. Hartley was Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Sussex. For the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission, Prof. Hartley has advised on the ecological effect of organisms that have been genetically modified. She has also been President of the British Ecological Society (2016-2017). She is a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2016–present) and is a non-executive board member for Natural England (2018-2021). She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours for 2019 for 'services to Ecological Research and Public Engagement'
Sir Arthur George Tansley FLS, FRS was an English botanist and a pioneer in the science of ecology.
Chemical ecology is the study of chemically-mediated interactions between living organisms, and the effects of those interactions on the demography, behavior and ultimately evolution of the organisms involved. It is thus a vast and highly interdisciplinary field. Chemical ecologists seek to identify the specific molecules that function as signals mediating community or ecosystem processes and to understand the evolution of these signals. The substances that serve in such roles are typically small, readily-diffusible organic molecules, but can also include small peptides.
The soil food web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. It describes a complex living system in the soil and how it interacts with the environment, plants, and animals.
Plant defense against herbivory or host-plant resistance (HPR) describes a range of adaptations evolved by plants which improve their survival and reproduction by reducing the impact of herbivores. Plants can sense being touched, and they can use several strategies to defend against damage caused by herbivores. Many plants produce secondary metabolites, known as allelochemicals, that influence the behavior, growth, or survival of herbivores. These chemical defenses can act as repellents or toxins to herbivores, or reduce plant digestibility.
Herbivores are dependent on plants for food, and have coevolved mechanisms to obtain this food despite the evolution of a diverse arsenal of plant defenses against herbivory. Herbivore adaptations to plant defense have been likened to "offensive traits" and consist of those traits that allow for increased feeding and use of a host. Plants, on the other hand, protect their resources for use in growth and reproduction, by limiting the ability of herbivores to eat them. Relationships between herbivores and their host plants often results in reciprocal evolutionary change. When a herbivore eats a plant it selects for plants that can mount a defensive response, whether the response is incorporated biochemically or physically, or induced as a counterattack. In cases where this relationship demonstrates "specificity", and "reciprocity", the species are thought to have coevolved. The escape and radiation mechanisms for coevolution, presents the idea that adaptations in herbivores and their host plants, has been the driving force behind speciation. The coevolution that occurs between plants and herbivores that ultimately results in the speciation of both can be further explained by the Red Queen hypothesis. This hypothesis states that competitive success and failure evolve back and forth through organizational learning. The act of an organism facing competition with another organism ultimately leads to an increase in the organism's performance due to selection. This increase in competitive success then forces the competing organism to increase its performance through selection as well, thus creating an "arms race" between the two species. Herbivores evolve due to plant defenses because plants must increase their competitive performance first due to herbivore competitive success.
May Roberta Berenbaum is an American entomologist whose research focuses on the chemical interactions between herbivorous insects and their host plants, and the implications of these interactions on the organization of natural communities and the evolution of species. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was named editor-in-chief of its journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019; she is also a member of the American Philosophical Society (1996), and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1996). She has held a Maybelle Leland Swanlund Endowed Chair in entomology since 2012, which is the highest title a professor can hold at the University of Illinois. In 2014, she was awarded the National Medal of Science.
Lawrence Basil Slobodkin was an American ecologist and Professor Emeritus at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, State University of New York. He was one of the leading pioneers of modern ecology. His innovative thinking and research, provocative teaching, and visionary leadership helped transform ecology into a modern science, with deep links to evolution.
Robert F. Denno (1945–2008) was an influential insect ecologist. He wrote more than 130 research papers that helped advance the study of plant–insect interactions, interspecific competition, predator prey interactions and food web dynamics. He studied the ecology of sap-feeding insects, both in natural and cultivated settings. His study of wing polymorphism expanded into the fields of life history evolution, plant and herbivore interactions, community ecology, and many aspects of predator ecology, reviewed recently in Denno et al. (2005).
Plant ecology is a subdiscipline of ecology which studies the distribution and abundance of plants, the effects of environmental factors upon the abundance of plants, and the interactions among and between plants and other organisms. Examples of these are the distribution of temperate deciduous forests in North America, the effects of drought or flooding upon plant survival, and competition among desert plants for water, or effects of herds of grazing animals upon the composition of grasslands.
Ecological fitting is "the process whereby organisms colonize and persist in novel environments, use novel resources or form novel associations with other species as a result of the suites of traits that they carry at the time they encounter the novel condition." It can be understood as a situation in which a species' interactions with its biotic and abiotic environment seem to indicate a history of coevolution, when in actuality the relevant traits evolved in response to a different set of biotic and abiotic conditions. The simplest form of ecological fitting is resource tracking, in which an organism continues to exploit the same resources, but in a new host or environment. In this framework, the organism occupies a multidimensional operative environment defined by the conditions in which it can persist, similar to the idea of the Hutchinsonian niche. In this case, a species can colonize new environments and/or form new species interactions which can lead to the misinterpretation of the relationship as coevolution, although the organism has not evolved and is continuing to exploit the same resources it always has. The more strict definition of ecological fitting requires that a species encounter an environment or host outside of its original operative environment and obtain realized fitness based on traits developed in previous environments that are now co-opted for a new purpose. This strict form of ecological fitting can also be expressed either as colonization of new habitat or the formation of new species interactions.
Ian Thomas Baldwin is an American ecologist.
Malcolm Colin Press is a British ecologist, professor and Vice-Chancellor of the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), in the United Kingdom.
Hugh David Loxdale is an entomologist. He was professor of ecology at the Institute of Ecology, University of Jena from 2009 to 2010, president of the Royal Entomological Society from 2004 to 2006, and honorary visiting professor at the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University. Loxdale works on the population biology, ecology, and genetics of insects, especially aphids and their wasp parasitoids.
Judith (Judy) H. Myers is a Canadian-American ecologist. In 2014 she was elected president of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. Professor Myers is well-known for her decades-long research into plant-animal-microbe interactions, including insect pest outbreaks, viral pathogens of insects, and pioneering work on biological control of insects and plants, particularly invasive species. Throughout her career she has advocated strongly for both the public understanding of science and for increasing the number of women in the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Lynne Boddy is a Professor of Microbial Ecology at Cardiff University. She works on the ecology of wood decomposition, including synecology and autecology. She won the 2018 Learned Society of Wales Frances Hoggan Medal.
Helen Elizabeth Roy, is a British ecologist, entomologist, and academic, specialising in aphids and non-native species. Since 2007, she has been a principal scientist and ecologist at the NERC's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. From 1997 to 2008, she taught at Anglia Ruskin University, rising to the rank of Reader in Ecology. She is the co-organiser of the UK Ladybird Survey, alongside Dr Peter Brown, is a visiting professor in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading and is current President of the Royal Entomological Society.
Julia Koricheva is an ecologist in the UK. She is professor of ecology at Royal Holloway, University of London and she researches ecosystem services in forests, the interactions between insects and plants and is an expert in meta-analyis.
Jane Memmott Hon.FRES is an ecologist and entomologist from the United Kingdom. She is professor of ecology at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on community ecology and she is an expert on the interactions between insect pollinators and plants.
Jane Katharine Hill Hon.FRES is British ecologist, and professor of ecology at the University of York; research includes the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on insects.
Alison Hester is an ecologist in the UK, she is Professor at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, Scotland and is an expert in the effects of land management on biodiversity.