The University of Sheffield
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences

Dr Andrew Beckerman

Dr Andrew Beckerman

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 0026
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002

email :



BSc Tufts University (1990)
MFS Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1994)
PhD Yale University (1999)
NERC Post-Doctoral Associate, University of Stirling (1999-2002)
NERC Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2002-2005)
Lecturer, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2005-2007)
Senior Lecturer, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield (2007-)

Key Research Interests

image of daphnia

We aim link genetics, behaviour and life history to the distribution and abundance of organisms and the structure and dynamics of communities. We do so by combining empirical and theoretical tools with a range of aquatic and terrestrial organisms, in the lab and in the field. Our research centres around two study systems: Predator - prey dynamics & food webs (Daphnia and Theory) and Parrot Conservation and Behaviour in Bonaire.

Professional Activities

Associate Editor, Ecology Letters (2009 - ) and Journal of Animal Ecology (2007-)
NERC Peer Review College (2006-2009)
BES Council (2007-2010)
Symposium Organiser, Ecological Society of America (2007)


Dr Andrew Beckerman is a Senior Lecturer and the former Director and now consultant to UG Admissions. He is a member of the Teaching Committee and of the Graduate Committee.

At level 1, I coordinate and teach on APS123 - Introduction to Population and Community Ecology.

At Level 2, I coordinate and teach on APS273 - Advanced Population and Community Ecology, a course combining lectures and a variety of workshops focused on technology, modelling and applications. These modules reflect my interest in population and community ecology and ideas about how evolution shapes the interactions among species and between species and their environments.

I also coordinate and teach APS405 - Advanced Statistics for Biologists, a week long intensive training module for 4th year MBiolSci students and 1st year PhD students. This module reflects my interests in computing and statistics and specifically in presenting results of research with high quality graphics.

I have supervised a number of level 4 MBiolSci students. Most work on my water flea system, and projects range from examining the role of hormones in prey defences against their predators to linking animal foraging behaviour to food web structure.

Current Research Group


Dr Arne Schröder
State dependence, behaviour and predation risk - NERC

PhD Students

Julia Reger
NERC - Freshwater Biology Association (co-supervisor Jon Slate)

Aaron Thierry
BBSRC - Microsoft Research (co-supervisors Owen Petchey & Phil Warren)

Mohammad Ali
Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research

Isabelle Dean

Recent Publications (2008 to date)

Robinson, M.R. and Beckerman, A.P. 2012 Quantifying multivariate plasticity: genetic variation in resource acquisition drives plasticity in resource allocation to components of life history. in press, Ecology Letters

Hatchwell, B.J., Sharp, S.P., Beckerman, A.P., Meade, J. 2012 Ecological and demographic correlates of helping behaviour in a cooperatively breeding bird. in press, Journal of Animal Ecology

Chevin, L.M. and Beckerman, A.P. 2012 From adaptation to molecular evolution. Heredity 108: 457-459 DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2011.96

Thierry, A., Beckerman, A.P., Warren, P.H., Williams, R.J., Cole, A.J., Petchey, O.L. 2011 Adaptive foraging and the rewiring of size-structured food webs following extinctions. Basic and Applied Ecology 12: 562-570

Beckerman, A.P., Sharpe, S., Hatchwell, B.J. 2011 Predation and the evolution of cooperative breeding. Behavioural Ecology 22: 1294-1303 DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr131

Petchey, O.L., Beckerman, A.P., Reide, J.O., Warren, P.H. 2011 Putting in context Allesina's test of the allometric diet breadth model. Journal of Theoretical Biology 279: 169-171 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.03.019

Thierry, A., Petchey, O.L., Beckerman, A.P., Warren, P.H., Williams, R.J. 2011 The consequences of size dependent foraging for food web topology. Oikos 120: 493-502 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18861.x

Dennis, S.R., Carter, M.J., Hentley, W.T., Beckerman, A.P. 2010 Phenotypic convergence under predation risk. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 278: 1687-1696 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1989

Stapley, J., Reger, J., Feulner, P.G., Smadja, C., Galindo, J., Ekblom, R., Bennison, C., Ball, A.D., Beckerman, A.P., Slate, J. 2010 Adaptation Genomics: the next generation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 25(12): 705-712 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.09.002

Mikolajewski, D.J, De Block, M., Rolff, J., Johansson, F., Beckerman, A.P., Stoks, R. 2010 Predator driven trait diversification in a dragonfly genus: inter- and intra-specific trait correlations in a behavioural, morphological and physiological defense. Evolution online early - DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01078.x

Beckerman, A.P., Rodgers, G., Dennis, S.R. 2010 The reaction norm of size and age at maturity under multiple predator risk. Journal of Animal Ecology 79: 1069-1076 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2010.01703.x

Hammill, E., Kratina, P. Beckerman, A.P. and Anholt, B. 2010. Precise time interactions between behavioural and morphological defences. Oikos 119 : 494-499. DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2009.17812.x

Hammill, E. and Beckerman, A. P. 2010 Reciprocity in predator-prey interactions: exposure to defend prey and predation risk affects intermediate predator life history and morphology. Oecologia 163: 193-202. DOI 10.1007/s00442-009-1508-5

Meade, J., Nam, K., Beckerman, A.P., Hatchwell, B.J. 2010 Consequences of 'load-lightening' for future indirect fitness gains by helpers in a cooperatively breeding bird. Journal of Animal Ecology 79(3): 529-537 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01656.x

Thompson, K., Petchey, O.L., Askew, A.P., Dunnett, N.P., Beckerman, A.P., Willis, A.J. 2010 Little evidence for limiting similarity in a long-term study of a roadside plant community. Journal of Ecology 98: 480-487 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01610.x

Beckerman, A.P., Petchey, O.L., Morin, P.J. 2010 Adaptive foragers and community ecology: linking individuals to communities and ecosystems. Functional Ecology 24: 1-6 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2009.01673.x

Barton, B.T, Beckerman, A.P., Schmitz, O.J. 2009 Climate affects direct and indirect interactions in an old-field food web. Ecology 90: 2346:2351 DOI: 10.1890/08-2254.1

Beckerman, A.P. and Petchey, O.L. 2009 Infectious food webs. (In Focus). Journal of Animal Ecology 78: 493-496 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01538.x

Evison, S.E.F., Petchey, O.L., Beckerman, A.P., Ratnieks, F.L.W. 2009 Combined use of pheromone trails and visual landmarks by the common garden ant Lasius niger. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 261-267 DOI: 10.1007/s00265-008-0657-6

Hammill, E., Rogers, A. Beckerman, A.P. 2008 The evolutionary ecology of inducible defences: a case study with Daphnia pulex. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21 (3) , 705–715 DOI:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2008.01520.x

Petchey, O.L., Beckerman, A.P., Warren, P.H. 2008 Size, foraging and food web structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105: 4191– 4196 DOI 10.1073 pnas.0710672105.


APS123 Population and Community Ecology

APS208 Animal Population and Community Ecology

APS405 Advanced Biological Analysis

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