Dr Dylan Childs

Dr Dylan Childs

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 4313
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 0002

email : d.childs@sheffield.ac.uk


Career

NERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Sheffield University (2008 - present)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Sheffield University (2006 - 2008)
Welcome Funded PDRA, Sheffield University (2005 - 2006)
Equities Trader, Circe Trading (2003 - 2005)
PhD Population Biology, Imperial College (1999 - 2003)

Key Research Interests

Life history theory – Characterising optimal reproductive strategies and components of selection in free-living populations.

Evolutionary demography – Application of evolutionary game theory (aka adaptive dynamics) to long-term demographic datasets.

Structured population modelling – Construction / parameterisation of accurate demographic models (e.g. integral projection models).

Host-parasite dynamics – Exploring the impact of environmental variation on dynamics (e.g. seasonal forcing in malaria)

Teaching

Dr Dylan Childs is an Independent Research Fellow and Lecturer. He is a member of the graduate committee and acts as an employer liaison within the department to build ties between APS and local and national employers.

My approach to teaching and supervision of students is to convey my enthusiasm for population biology and evolutionary ecology and to use research-led, biologically interesting examples to give students a thorough grounding in key concepts. In the recent past I have taught on APS123 (Introduction to Population and Community Ecology) at level 1 and APS273 (Advanced Population and Community Ecology) at level 2. These modules reflect my interests in how ecological processes shape the life history, population dynamics and evolution of species.

At level 3 I currently teach on APS 342 (Evolutionary Ecology) and I supervise projects (APS330) in population biology and life history, using both theoretical and empirical approaches. I strongly believe that learning the basic tools for independent research is essential for undergraduate students, and I always encourage my students to try new methods of data analysis and quantitative reasoning.

Publications (2008 - Present)


Coulson, T., Tuljapurkar, S. & Childs, D. Z. Linking life history, phenotypic trait and population dynamics in theory and in the field. Journal of Animal Ecology (In Press).

Ozgul, A., Childs, D. Z., Oli, M. K., Armitage, K. B., Blumstein, D. T., Olson, L. E., Tuljapurkar, S. & Coulson, T. Phenotypic mechanisms underlying a demographic response to climate change. Nature 466, 482-485 (2010).

Childs, D. Z., Metcalf, J. C. & Rees, M. Evolutionary bet hedging in the real world: empirical evidence and challenges revealed by plants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences. Published Online (2010).

Rees, M., Metcalf, J. C. & Childs, D. Z. Bet-hedging as an evolutionary game: the trade-off between egg size and number. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 277, 1149-1151 (2010).

Childs, D. Z. & Boots, M. The interaction of seasonal forcing and immunity and the resonance dynamics of malaria. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 7, 309-319 (2010).

Rees, M., Metcalf, J. C. & Childs, D. Z. When worlds collide: reconciling models, data and analysis. The Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution 55, 227-321 (2009).

Boots, M., Childs, D., Reuman, D. & Mealor, M. Local interactions lead to pathogen-driven change to host population dynamics. Current Biology 19, 1660-1664 (2009).

Metcalf, J. C., Rose, K. E., Childs, D. Z., Sheppard, A.W., Grubb, P. J. & Rees, M. Maintenance of genetic diversity: protected polymorphisms and stochasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, 10466-10470 (2008).

Coulson, T., Ezard T., Pelletier, F., Tavecchia, G., Childs, D. Z., Saether, B., Stenseth, N.C, Pilkington, J., Pemberton J., Kruuk L., Clutton-Brock T., & Crawley, M. Estimating the functional form for the density dependence from life history data. Ecology 89, 1661-1674 (2008).

Publications (2003 - 2008)

Reinhardt K., Gunter K., Webb S. & Childs D. Field mating rate of female meadow grasshoppers, Chorthippus parallelus, estimated from sperm counts. Ecological Entomology 32, 637–642. (2007).

Childs, D. Z., Cattadori, I. M., Suwonkerd, W., Prajakwong, S. & Boots, M. Spatiotemporal patterns of malaria incidence in northern Thailand. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 100, 623-631 (2006).

Rees, M., Childs, D. Z., Metcalf, J. C., Rose, K. E., Sheppard, A. W. & Grubb, P. J. Seed dormancy and delayed flowering in monocarpic plants: Selective interactions in a stochastic environment. American Naturalist 168, E53-E71 (2006).

Childs, D. Z., Rees, M., Rose, K. E., Grubb, P. J. & Ellner, S. P. Evolution of size-dependent flowering in a variable environment: construction and analysis of a stochastic integral projection model. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 271, 425-434 (2004).

Rees, M., Childs, D. Z., Rose, K. E. & Grubb, P. J. Evolution of size-dependent flowering in a variable environment: partitioning the effects of fluctuating selection. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 271, 471-475 (2004).

Childs, D. Z., Bonsall, M. B. & Rees, M. Periodic local disturbance in host-parasitoid metapopulations: Host suppression and parasitoid persistence. Journal of Theoretical Biology 227, 13-23 (2004).

Childs, D. Z., Rees, M., Rose, K. E., Grubb, P. J. & Ellner, S. P. Evolution of complex flowering strategies: an age- and size-structured integral projection model. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 270, 1829-1838 (2003).


Research papers by Dylan Childs