Michelle Jackson

Research Interests

In our lab, we are interested in how anthropogenic stressors alter aquatic environments. How do stressors, such as heatwaves, species invasions, and habitat loss interact to affect individuals, communities and entire ecosystems? These stressors rarely occur in isolation, so the traditional focus on single stressors will inevitably miss key information on their interactive, and often counterintuitive, impacts. We aim to derive generalities in how aquatic ecosystems respond to multiple stressors by focusing on both multiple levels of organisation (from genes to ecosystems) and multiple scales (from laboratory experiments to field studies).

Specific DPhil project for 2024: How do asynchronous stressors interact in aquatic ecosystems?

Although significant strides have been made in recent years in understanding how stressors operate when they are imposed simultaneously, their temporal dimension has largely been ignored. This is a critical research gap as the timing of stressor events is key to understanding their ecological outcomes. Even when stressors occur in perfect synchrony in time (which is rarely, if ever, the case), they can have combined effects that do not equal the sum of their parts. The goal of this project is to analyse existing data and run novel experiments to ask, does the order of stressor exposure matter? If one stressor comes first, are there different biodiversity outcomes? Is there any evidence of adaptation if stressors are staggered over time?


Qualification and experiences

PhD in Ecology, Tutorial Fellow, Lecturer

Personal Research Keywords

Aquatic ecology; Freshwater; Marine; Global Change; Food web; Multiple stressors