Albert B Phillimore

Albert B Phillimore
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · Institute of Evolutionary Biology

PhD

About

110
Publications
19,701
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4,765
Citations
Introduction
I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in inferring process from pattern, usually from the viewpoint of large spatial or temporal scales. My areas of interest include macroevolution, island biogeography and phenology, with the latter now my main focus.
Additional affiliations
February 2017 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Lecturer
February 2012 - January 2017
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Fellow
January 2007 - March 2007
University of Chicago
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
Projecting the fates of populations under climate change is one of global change biology's foremost challenges. Here, we seek to identify the contributions that temperature-mediated local adaptation and plasticity make to spatial variation in nesting phenology, a phenotypic trait showing strong responses to warming. We apply a mixed modeling framew...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive timing in many taxa plays a key role in determining breeding productivity ¹, and is often sensitive to climatic conditions ² . Current climate change may alter the timing of breeding at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in temporal mismatch between the resource requirements of predators and their prey ³ . Thi...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing temperatures associated with climate change may generate phenological mismatches that disrupt previously synchronous trophic interactions. Most work on mismatch has focused on temporal trends, whereas spatial variation in the degree of trophic synchrony has largely been neglected, even though the degree to which mismatch varies in space...
Article
Little is known about the dietary richness and variation of generalist insectivorous species, including birds, due primarily to difficulties in prey identification. Using faecal metabarcoding we provide the most comprehensive analysis of a passerine's diet to date, identifying the relative magnitudes of biogeographic, habitat and temporal trends in...
Article
Climate warming has caused the seasonal timing of many components of ecological food chains to advance. In the context of trophic interactions, the match–mismatch hypothesis postulates that differential shifts can lead to phenological asynchrony with negative impacts for consumers. However, at present there has been no consistent analysis of the li...
Code
Simulates and computes the (maximum) likelihood of a dynamical model of island biota assembly through speciation, immigration and extinction. See e.g. Valente et al. 2015. Ecology Letters 18: 844-852, <doi:10.1111/ele.12461>. See https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/DAISIE/index.html for details.
Article
1. Timing of breeding, an important driver of fitness in many populations, is widely studied in the context of global change, yet despite considerable efforts to identify environmental drivers of seabird nesting phenology, for most populations we lack evidence of strong drivers. Here we adopt an alternative approach, examining the degree to which d...
Preprint
Advances in spring phenology are among the clearest biological responses to climate warming. In the ephemeral temperate deciduous forest food webs, at the vanguard of research on temperature’s effect on trophic interactions, most work has focused on the average timing of phenological events. In comparison, effects of temperature on the abundance of...
Preprint
DAISIE (Dynamic Assembly of Islands through Speciation, Immigration and Extinction) is a framework for a dynamic stochastic model of island biogeography that can be used to estimate the rates of colonisation, speciation and extinction (CES rates) from phylogenetic trees of insular communities by maximum likelihood, and to simulate such data sets gi...
Article
Full-text available
Birds build nests primarily as a receptacle to lay their eggs in, but they can also provide secondary benefits including structural support, camouflage, and adjustment of the microclimate surrounding the eggs and offspring. The factors underlying intraspecific variation in nest characteristics are poorly understood. In this study, we aim to identif...
Article
Full-text available
• An accumulating number of studies are reporting severe insect declines. These studies aim to quantify temporal changes in invertebrate populations and community composition and attribute them to anthropogenic drivers. • Seibold et al. 2019 (Nature, 574, 671–674) analysed arthropod biomass, abundance and species richness from forest and grassland...
Preprint
1.Climate warming is causing many spring biological events to advance in timing and where the phenology of resource and consumer advance at different rates this can result in trophic asynchrony. While the temperate study system of deciduous tree – caterpillar – insectivorous passerine has been widely studied, little work has examined whether phenol...
Article
Full-text available
1. As temperatures rise, timing of reproduction is changing at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in asynchrony between consumers and their resources. The match-mismatch hypothesis (MMH) suggests that trophic asyn-chrony will have negative impacts on average productivity of consumers. It is also thought to lead to selectio...
Preprint
An accumulating number of studies are reporting severe biomass, abundance and/or species richness declines of insects (Hallmann et al., 2017; Lister & Garcia, 2018; Seibold et al., 2019; Sánchez-Bayo & Wyckhuys, 2019). Collectively these studies aim to quantify the net change in invertebrate populations and/or community composition over time and to...
Preprint
Climate warming has caused the seasonal timing of many components of ecological food chains to advance (Thackeray et al. 2010, 2016). In the context of trophic interactions the match-mismatch hypothesis (MMH) postulates that differential shifts can lead to phenological asynchrony with negative impacts for consumers (Cushing 1990). However, it is st...
Article
Full-text available
Colonization, speciation and extinction are dynamic processes that influence global patterns of species richness1–6. Island biogeography theory predicts that the contribution of these processes to the accumulation of species diversity depends on the area and isolation of the island7,8. Notably, there has been no robust global test of this predictio...
Article
Establishing the cues or constraints that influence avian timing of breeding is the key to accurate prediction of future phenology. This study aims to identify the aspects of the environment that predict the timing of two measures of breeding phenology (nest initiation and egg laying date) in an insectivorous woodland passerine, the blue tit (Cyani...
Article
A classic system for studying trophic mismatch focuses on the timing of the spring caterpillar peak in relation to the breeding time and productivity of woodland passerine birds. Most work has been conducted in single-site oak woodlands, and little is known about how insights generalize to other woodland types or across space. Here we present the r...
Article
The Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change with rapidly rising surface temperatures, accelerating sea‐ice decline and changing snow regimes, all of which influence tundra plant phenology. Despite these changes, no globally consistent direction of trends in spring phenology has been reported across the Arctic. While spring has advanced a...
Article
Full-text available
1.The decline of farmland birds across Europe is a well‐documented case of biodiversity loss, and despite land stewardship supported by funding from agri‐environment schemes (AES), the negative trends have not yet been reversed. 2.To investigate the contribution of AES towards farmland bird conservation, we compared abundance of five farmland bird...
Article
The nesting phenology and productivity of hole‐nesting woodland passerines, such as tit species (Paridae), has been the subject of many studies and played a central role in advancing our understanding of the causes and consequences of trophic mismatch. However, as most studies have been conducted in mature, oak‐rich (Quercus sp.) woodlands, it is u...
Article
Island biogeography aims at inferring the processes that govern the assembly of communities in space and time. Molecular phylogenies can tell us about the timings of island colonisations and diversification, but have rarely been used for the estimation of colonisation, speciation and extinction rates on islands. In this study we illustrate the effe...
Article
Although the number of studies discerning the impact of climate change on ecological systems continues to increase, there has been relatively little sharing of the lessons learnt when accumulating this evidence. At a recent workshop entitled ‘Using climate data in ecological research’ held at the UK Met Office, ecologists and climate scientists cam...
Article
Full-text available
One consequence of rising spring temperatures is that the optimum timing of key life-history events may advance. Where this is the case, a population's fate may depend on the degree to which it is able to track a change in the optimum timing either via plasticity or via adaptation. Estimating the effect that temperature change will have on optimum...
Article
Full-text available
1.There are wide reports of advances in the timing of spring migration of birds over time and in relation to rising temperatures, though phenological responses vary substantially within and among species. An understanding of the ecological, life-history and geographic variables that predict this intra- and inter-specific variation can guide our pro...
Article
Slow-downs in lineage accumulation in phylogenies suggest that speciation rates decline as diversity increases. Likelihood methods have been developed to detect such diversity-dependence. However, a thorough test of whether such approaches correctly infer diversity-dependence is lacking. Here we simulate phylogenetic branching under linear negative...
Data
Data S1. Developing a phylogeny of British butterflies (technical details). Table S1. Species' t‐values and co‐efficients from regressions of mean flight date and three‐monthly mean temperatures. Table S2. Temperature range (within‐ and between‐ populations) of data analysed for each species. Table S3. Results from phylogenetic MCMCglmm analysis...
Data
Figure S1 Maximum likelihood chilling and forcing functions in relation to temperature under the preferred mechanistic model for each species. Note that the models for three species have no chilling requirement.
Data
Table S1 Coefficients of determination, R 2, for models fitted, with summary of parameters estimated for (a) regression models and (b) mechanistic models. Table S2 The relative proportion of years when the phenology of species A (rows) precedes the phenology of species B (columns) in (a) the historic data, and predicted data for (b) 2010–2039 and...
Article
Full-text available
Island biotas emerge from the interplay between colonisation, speciation and extinction and are often the scene of spectacular adaptive radiations. A common assumption is that insular diversity is at a dynamic equilibrium, but for remote islands, such as Hawaii or Galápagos, this idea remains untested. Here, we reconstruct the temporal accumulation...
Article
Full-text available
Phenology shifts are the most widely cited examples of the biological impact of climate change, yet there are few assessments of potential effects on the fitness of individual organisms or the persistence of populations. Despite extensive evidence of climate-driven advances in phenological events over recent decades, comparable patterns across spec...
Article
Full-text available
Sympatric speciation is today generally viewed as plausible, and some well-supported examples exist, but its relative contribution to biodiversity remains to be established. We here quantify geographic overlap of sister species of heliconiine butterflies, and use age-range correlations and spatial simulations of the geography of speciation to infer...
Article
Full-text available
The rise in spring temperatures over the past half-century has led to advances in the phenology of many nontropical plants and animals. As species and populations differ in their phenological responses to temperature, an increase in temperatures has the potential to alter timing-dependent species interactions. One species-interaction that may be af...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Models of island biology are increasingly incorporating processes that occur over evolutionary time scales. However, we still lack an island-centric framework that enables the estimation of parameters that are relevant to island biogeography from phylogenetic trees of insular taxa. In addition, we lack a quantitative me...
Article
Full-text available
A major goal of island biogeography is to understand how island communities are assembled over time. However, we know little about the influence of variable area and ecological opportunity on island biotas over geological timescales. Islands have limited life spans, and it has been posited that insular diversity patterns should rise and fall with a...
Article
1. Understanding the processes responsible for macro-scale spatial and temporal phenological patterns is a critical step in developing predictive phenological models. While phenological responses may involve the integration of multiple environmental cues, the spring phenology of many plant and animal species appears to be especially sensitive to te...
Article
1. Fundamental ecological research is both intrinsically interesting and provides the basic knowledge required to answer applied questions of importance to the management of the natural world. The 100th anniversary of the British Ecological Society in 2013 is an opportune moment to reflect on the current status of ecology as a science and look forw...
Article
Full-text available
Phenology affects the abiotic and biotic conditions that an organism encounters and, consequently, its fitness. For populations of high-latitude species, spring phenology often occurs earlier in warmer years and regions. Here we apply a novel approach, a comparison of slope of phenology on temperature over space versus over time, to identify the re...
Data
Contribution of each compound to variation between treatments. Loadings of the first four principal components of resource use and production of the four surviving species across ancestral, monoculture, and polyculture treatments. The input data were the difference between the size of the peak in medium used by the isolate and the size of the peak...
Data
Changes in substrate composition after use by a first species and then species B or D. The difference in the relative size of NMR peaks between tea used by a first species' ancestral (red), monoculture (green), and polyculture (blue) in turn and the relative size of peaks in unused beech tea; together with the change in the size of the peak after a...
Data
Boxplots of the density after 4 d (log10) across species and substrates. The dark line shows the median, the box limits show the inter-quartile range, and whiskers/points indicate extreme values. Key findings based on comparing Vmax remain the same when comparing amount of growth by day 4: species A grows well on unused tea in ancestral and monocul...
Data
Amounts of compounds identified from distinct peaks in the NMR spectrum of unused beech tea. Bars show the size of the major peak for each distinct compound relative to the size of the standard, DSS; hence peak heights are dimensionless. The location of each peak on the spectrum is shown after each name (peak shift in parts per million). (TIF)
Data
Growth of replicates of each species in assays on unused beech tea across the three treatments. The y-axes are log(cell counts per ml), and x-axes are time since start in hours. Ancestral isolates of all four species grew linearly over the assay period on unused beech tea (ANOVA comparing a model with time as a factor versus a model with time as a...
Data
Linear mixed effects model comparisons. (DOCX)
Data
Maximum growth rates for each species and evolution treatment when grown in “used” and “unused” substrate. Boxplots of maximum growth rates, VMAX, in cell doublings per day across evolution treatments, species, and substrates. The dark line shows the median, the box limits show the inter-quartile range, and whiskers/points indicate extreme values....
Data
NMR peaks for each species and treatment. The difference in the size of NMR peaks between tea used by ancestral (dark grey), monoculture (mid grey), and polyculture (light grey) in turn and the size of peaks in unused beech tea. Positive values indicate production of a compound, and negative values indicate consumption of a compound. Peak sizes are...
Data
Description and photographs of growth morphology of each species on agar plates. (DOCX)
Data
Scatter plot showing the linear relationship between OD600 and log colony counts. The model simplified to retain species and OD600, but no interaction terms (i.e., different intercept for calibration line for each species, but same slopes, F4,67 = 32.9, p<0.0001, r2 = 0.64). The fitted lines were used to calibrate in units of log(number of cells) p...
Data
Molecular identification of bacterial isolates. (DOCX)
Data
Densities, doubling rates, and effective population sizes of each species during the evolution experiments. (DOCX)
Data
Additional methods and references. (DOC)
Article
Full-text available
Studies of evolutionary responses to novel environments typically consider single species or perhaps pairs of interacting species. However, all organisms co-occur with many other species, resulting in evolutionary dynamics that might not match those predicted using single species approaches. Recent theories predict that species interactions in dive...
Article
Full-text available
The branching times of molecular phylogenies allow us to infer speciation and extinction dynamics even when fossils are absent. Troublingly, phylogenetic approaches usually return estimates of zero extinction, conflicting with fossil evidence. Phylogenies and fossils do agree, however, that there are often limits to diversity. Here, we present a ge...
Article
Full-text available
Correction for “Differences in spawning date between populations of common frog reveal local adaptation,” by Albert B. Phillimore, Jarrod D. Hadfield, Owen R. Jones, and Richard J. Smithers, which appeared in issue 18, May 4, 2010, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (107:8292–8297; first published April 19, 2010; 10.1073/pnas.0913792107). The authors note t...
Article
Full-text available
We compiled a large database of 58 059 point locality records for 70 species and 434 subspecies of heliconiine butterflies and used these data to test evolutionary hypotheses for their diversification. To study geographical patterns of diversity and contact zones, we mapped: (1) species richness; (2) mean molecular phylogenetic terminal branch leng...
Article
A major aim of island biogeography has been to describe general patterns of species richness across islands and to identify the processes responsible. Data are often collected across many islands; with larger datasets providing increased statistical power and more accurate parameter estimates. However, there is often structure in observational data...
Article
Ecology letters (2011) 14: 552–560 Islands acquire species through immigration and speciation. Models of island biogeography should capture both processes; however quantitative island biogeography theory has either neglected speciation or treated it unrealistically. We introduce a model where the dominance of immigration on small and near islands g...
Article
Full-text available
On 9 March, over 150 biologists gathered in London for the Centre for Ecology and Evolution spring symposium, 'Integrating Ecology into Macroevolutionary Research'. The event brought together researchers from London-based institutions alongside others from across the UK, Europe and North America for a day of talks. The meeting highlighted methodolo...
Article
Giant tortoises, enormous flightless birds and huge bears, alongside minute deer, tiny lizards, dwarf elephants and, lately, pygmy humans all spring to mind when the body sizes of island vertebrates is discussed. Body size evolution on islands is perceived to be fast (Lister, 1989; Millien, 2006) and has produced extreme phenotypes, with the smalle...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenetic trees often depart from the expectations of stochastic models, exhibiting imbalance in diversification among lineages and slowdowns in the rate of lineage accumulation through time. Such departures have led to a widespread perception that ecological differences among species or adaptation and subsequent niche filling are required to ex...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic differences between populations often correlate with climate variables, resulting from a combination of environment-induced plasticity and local adaptation. Species comprising populations that are genetically adapted to local climatic conditions should be more vulnerable to climate change than those comprising phenotypically plastic popu...