People

Professor Alex Dumbrell

Professor
School of Life Sciences
Professor Alex Dumbrell
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872539

  • Location

    3SW.4.18, Colchester Campus

Profile

Biography

2019 -- Professor (University of Essex) 2016 - 2019 - Senior Lecturer (University of Essex) 2010 - 2016 - Lecturer (University of Essex) 2009 - 2010 - Visiting Research Fellow (Radboud University Nijmegen) 2007 - 2009 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow (University of York) 2002 - 2006 - Ph.D. (University of York) 2001 - 2002 - M.Sc. (University of Wales, Bangor) 1998 - 2001 - B.Sc. hons (University of Wales, Bangor) See: scholar.google.co.uk/citations for details.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Community ecology (focus on microbial systems)

Open to supervise

Theoretical ecology (focus on models of biodiversity)

Open to supervise

Molecular ecology (focus on next generation sequencing)

Open to supervise

Macroecology (focus on examining patterns of biodiversity in microbial systems)

Open to supervise

Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity

Open to supervise

Biodiversity-Ecosystem service/function relationships

Open to supervise

Species abundance distributions and species area relationships

Open to supervise

Biodiversity models (ie niche and neutral theories)

Open to supervise

Next generation sequencing technology and bioinformatics in ecological research

Open to supervise

Metagenetics, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics

Open to supervise

Ecoinformatics

Open to supervise

Soil biodiversity and function

Open to supervise

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and other symbiotic systems

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Enterprise and Employability for the Biosciences (BS211)

  • Professional Skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists (BS257)

  • Transferable Skills in Life Sciences (BS143)

  • Biodiversity: From Genes to Ecosystems (BS241)

  • Environmental Biology and Ecophysiology Field Course (Assessed in Following Year) (BS415)

  • Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology (BS708)

  • Research Project in Biomolecular Science (BS831)

  • Research Project in Ecological and Marine Sciences (BS832)

Previous supervision

Matthew Neil Bond
Matthew Neil Bond
Thesis title: Drivers of Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in Model Systems - the Role of Harvest Mortality and Intraspecific Competition
Degree subject: Biological Sciences
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 5/7/2019
Adam Gouraguine
Adam Gouraguine
Thesis title: Habitat Driven Responses of Reef Fish: Temporal Change, Niche Partitioning and Selection
Degree subject: Marine Biology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 25/6/2018
David Robert Clark
David Robert Clark
Thesis title: The Macroecology of Microorganisms: From Pattern to Process
Degree subject: Microbiology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 2/1/2018
Ahmad Khuzaim A Alzahrani
Ahmad Khuzaim A Alzahrani
Thesis title: Communities of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Salt Marsh Habitats: Diversity, Structure, and Ecosystem Function
Degree subject: Biological Sciences
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/8/2017

Publications

Journal articles (51)

Underwood, G., Michel, C., Meisterhans, G., Niemi, A., Belzile, C., Witt, M., Dumbrell, AJ. and Koch, BP., (2019). Organic matter from Artic sea ice loss alters bacterial community structure and function. Nature Climate Change. 9 (2), 170-176

Alzarhani, AK., Clark, DR., Underwood, GJC., Ford, H., Cotton, TEA. and Dumbrell, A., (2019). Are Drivers of Root-Associated Fungal Community Structure Context Specific?. ISME Journal. 13 (5), 1330-1344

Ferguson, RMW., Garcia-Alcega, S., Coulon, F., Dumbrell, AJ., Whitby, C. and Colbeck, I., (2019). Bioaerosol Biomonitoring: Sampling Optimisation for Molecular Microbial Ecology. Molecular Ecology Resources. 19 (3), 672-690

Dumbrell, AJ., (2019). Size matters in regulating the biodiversity of tropical forest soils. Molecular Ecology. 28 (3), 525-527

Zinger, L., Bonin, A., Alsos, IG., Bálint, M., Bik, H., Boyer, F., Chariton, AA., Creer, S., Coissac, E., Deagle, BE., De Barba, M., Dickie, IA., Dumbrell, AJ., Ficetola, GF., Fierer, N., Fumagalli, L., Gilbert, MTP., Jarman, S., Jumpponen, A., Kauserud, H., Orlando, L., Pansu, J., Pawlowski, J., Tedersoo, L., Thomsen, PF., Willerslev, E. and Taberlet, P., (2019). DNA metabarcoding—Need for robust experimental designs to draw sound ecological conclusions. Molecular Ecology. 28 (8), 1857-1862

Maček, I., Clark, DR., Šibanc, N., Moser, G., Vodnik, D., Müller, C. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2019). Impacts of long‐term elevated atmospheric CO₂ concentrations on communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Molecular Ecology. 28 (14), 3445-3458

Bani, Borruso, Matthews Nicholass, Bardelli, Polo, Pioli, Gómez-Brandón, Insam, Dumbrell and Brusetti, (2019). Site-Specific Microbial Decomposer Communities Do Not Imply Faster Decomposition: Results from a Litter Transplantation Experiment. Microorganisms. 7 (9), 349-349

Clark, DR., Ferguson, RMW., Harris, DN., Matthews Nicholass, KJ., Prentice, HJ., Randall, KC., Randell, L., Warren, SL. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2018). Streams of data from drops of water: 21st century molecular microbial ecology. WIREs Water. 5 (4), e1280-e1280

Mommer, L., Cotton, TEA., Raaijmakers, JM., Termorshuizen, AJ., van Ruijven, J., Hendriks, M., van Rijssel, SQ., van de Mortel, JE., van der Paauw, JW., Schijlen, EGWM., Smit-Tiekstra, AE., Berendse, F., de Kroon, H. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2018). Lost in diversity: the interactions between soil-borne fungi, biodiversity and plant productivity. New Phytologist. 218 (2), 542-553

Garcia-Alcega, S., Nasir, ZA., Ferguson, R., Noël, C., Cravo-Laureau, C., Whitby, C., Dumbrell, AJ., Colbeck, I., Tyrrel, S. and Coulon, F., (2018). Can chemical and molecular biomarkers help discriminate between industrial, rural and urban environments?. Science of the Total Environment. 631–632, 1059-1069

Steinke, M., Randell, L., Dumbrell, AJ. and Saha, M., (2018). Volatile Biomarkers for Aquatic Ecological Research. NEXT GENERATION BIOMONITORING, PT 2. 59, 75-92

Bohan, DA., Vacher, C., Tamaddoni-Nezhad, A., Raybould, A., Dumbrell, AJ. and Woodward, G., (2017). Next-Generation Global Biomonitoring: Large-scale, Automated Reconstruction of Ecological Networks. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 32 (7), 477-487

Garcia-Alcega, S., Nasir, ZA., Ferguson, R., Whitby, C., Dumbrell, AJ., Colbeck, I., Gomes, D., Tyrrel, S. and Coulon, F., (2017). Fingerprinting outdoor air environment using microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) – A review. TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry. 86, 75-83

Dumbrell, ALEXJ., Ferguson, RMW. and Clark, DR., (2017). Microbial Community Analysis by Single-Amplicon High-Throughput Next Generation Sequencing: Data Analysis – From Raw Output to Ecology. Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology Protocols. Microbial Quantitation, Community Profiling and Array Approaches, 155-206

Terrisse, F., Cravo-Laureau, C., Noël, C., Cagnon, C., Dumbrell, AJ., McGenity, TJ. and Duran, R., (2017). Variation of oxygenation conditions on a hydrocarbonoclastic microbial community reveals Alcanivorax and Cycloclasticus ecotypes. Frontiers in Microbiology. 8 (AUG), 1549-

Clark, DR., Mathieu, M., Mourot, L., Underwood, GJC., Dufossé, L., Dumbrell, AJ. and McGenity, TJ., (2017). Biogeography at the limits of life: Do extremophilic microbial communities show biogeographical regionalization?. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 26 (12), 1435-1446

Lohr, KE., Smith, DJ., Suggett, DJ., Nitschke, MR., Dumbrell, AJ., Woodcock, S. and Camp, EF., (2017). Coral community structure and recruitment in seagrass meadows. Frontiers in Marine Science. 4 (NOV)

Osburn, CL., Anderson, NJ., Stedmon, CA., Giles, ME., Whiteford, EJ., McGenity, TJ., Dumbrell, AJ. and Underwood, GJC., (2017). Shifts in the Source and Composition of Dissolved Organic Matter in Southwest Greenland Lakes Along a Regional Hydro-climatic Gradient. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 122 (12), 3431-3445

Low-Décarie, E., Fussmann, GF., Dumbrell, AJ. and Bell, G., (2016). Communities that thrive in extreme conditions captured from a freshwater lake. Biology Letters. 12 (9), 20160562-20160562

Aslam, SN., Dumbrell, AJ., Sabir, JS., Mutwakil, MHZ., Baeshen, MMN., Abo-Aba, SEM., Clark, DR., Yates, SA., Baeshen, NA., Underwood, GJC. and McGenity, TJ., (2016). Soil compartment is a major determinant of the impact of simulated rainfall on desert microbiota. Environmental Microbiology. 18 (12), 5048-5062

Camp, EF., Hobbs, JPA., De Brauwer, M., Dumbrell, AJ. and Smith, DJ., (2016). Cohabitation promotes high diversity of clownfishes in the Coral Triangle. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 283 (1827), 20160277-20160277

Lansdown, K., McKew, BA., Whitby, C., Heppell, CM., Dumbrell, AJ., Binley, A., Olde, L. and Trimmer, M., (2016). Importance and controls of anaerobic ammonium oxidation influenced by riverbed geology. Nature Geoscience. 9 (5), 357-360

Thompson, MSA., Bankier, C., Bell, T., Dumbrell, AJ., Gray, C., Ledger, ME., Lehmann, K., McKew, BA., Sayer, CD., Shelley, F., Trimmer, M., Warren, SL. and Woodward, G., (2016). Gene-to-ecosystem impacts of a catastrophic pesticide spill: testing a multilevel bioassessment approach in a river ecosystem. Freshwater Biology. 61 (12), 2037-2050

(2016). Networking Our Way to Better Ecosystem Service Provision. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 31 (2), 105-115

Dumbrell, AJ., Kordas, RL. and Woodward, G., (2016). ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH Large-Scale Ecology: Model Systems to Global Perspectives PREFACE. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 55: LARGE-SCALE ECOLOGY: MODEL SYSTEMS TO GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES. 55, XIX-XXIV

Fayle, TM., Scholtz, O., Dumbrell, AJ., Russell, S., Segar, ST. and Eggleton, P., (2015). Detection of Mitochondrial COII DNA Sequences in Ant Guts as a Method for Assessing Termite Predation by Ants. PLOS ONE. 10 (4), e0122533-e0122533

Cotton, TEA., Fitter, AH., Miller, RM., Dumbrell, AJ. and Helgason, T., (2015). Fungi in the future: interannual variation and effects of atmospheric change on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities. New Phytologist. 205 (4), 1598-1607

Li, J., Nedwell, DB., Beddow, J., Dumbrell, AJ., McKew, BA., Thorpe, EL. and Whitby, C., (2015). amoAGene Abundances and Nitrification Potential Rates Suggest that Benthic Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria and Not Archaea Dominate N Cycling in the Colne Estuary, United Kingdom. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 81 (1), 159-165

Low-Décarie, E., Kolber, M., Homme, P., Lofano, A., Dumbrell, A., Gonzalez, A. and Bell, G., (2015). Community rescue in experimental metacommunities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (46), 14307-14312

Cotton, TEA., Dumbrell, AJ. and Helgason, T., (2014). What Goes in Must Come out: Testing for Biases in Molecular Analysis of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities. PLoS ONE. 9 (10), e109234-e109234

Papaspyrou, S., Smith, CJ., Dong, LF., Whitby, C., Dumbrell, AJ. and Nedwell, DB., (2014). Nitrate Reduction Functional Genes and Nitrate Reduction Potentials Persist in Deeper Estuarine Sediments. Why?. PLoS ONE. 9 (4), e94111-e94111

Šibanc, N., Dumbrell, AJ., Mandić-Mulec, I. and Maček, I., (2014). Impacts of naturally elevated soil CO2 concentrations on communities of soil archaea and bacteria. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 68, 348-356

Woodward, G., Dumbrell, AJ., Baird, DJ. and Hajibabaei, M., (2014). ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH Big Data in Ecology PREFACE. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 51: BIG DATA IN ECOLOGY. 51, IX-XIII

McKew, BA., Dumbrell, AJ., Taylor, JD., McGenity, TJ. and Underwood, GJC., (2013). Differences between aerobic and anaerobic degradation of microphytobenthic biofilm-derived organic matter within intertidal sediments. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 84 (3), 495-509

Talmy, D., Blackford, J., Hardman-Mountford, NJ., Dumbrell, AJ. and Geider, RJ., (2013). An optimality model of photoadaptation in contrasting aquatic light regimes. Limnology and Oceanography. 58 (5), 1802-1818

Codling, EA. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2013). Bridging the gap between theory and data in ecological models. Ecological Complexity. 16, 1-8

Lewis, HM. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2013). Evolutionary games of cooperation: Insights through integration of theory and data. Ecological Complexity. 16, 20-30

McKew, BA., Dumbrell, AJ., Daud, SD., Hepburn, L., Thorpe, E., Mogensen, L. and Whitby, C., (2012). Characterization of Geographically Distinct Bacterial Communities Associated with Coral Mucus Produced by Acropora spp. and Porites spp.. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 78 (15), 5229-5237

Fayle, TM., Edwards, DP., Turner, EC., Dumbrell, AJ., Eggleton, P. and Foster, WA., (2012). Public goods, public services and by-product mutualism in an ant-fern symbiosis. Oikos. 121 (8), 1279-1286

Codling, EA. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2012). Mathematical and theoretical ecology: linking models with ecological processes. Interface Focus. 2 (2), 144-149

Maček, I., Dumbrell, AJ., Nelson, M., Fitter, AH., Vodnik, D. and Helgason, T., (2011). Local Adaptation to Soil Hypoxia Determines the Structure of an Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Community in Roots from Natural CO2Springs. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77 (14), 4770-4777

Dumbrell, AJ., Ashton, PD., Aziz, N., Feng, G., Nelson, M., Dytham, C., Fitter, AH. and Helgason, T., (2011). Distinct seasonal assemblages of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi revealed by massively parallel pyrosequencing. New Phytologist. 190 (3), 794-804

Fayle, TM., Dumbrell, AJ., Turner, EC. and Foster, WA., (2011). Distributional Patterns of Epiphytic Ferns are Explained by the Presence of Cryptic Species. Biotropica. 43 (1), 6-7

Mommer, L., Dumbrell, AJ., Wagemaker, CAM. and Ouborg, NJ., (2011). Belowground DNA-based techniques: untangling the network of plant root interactions. Plant and Soil. 348 (1-2), 115-121

Dumbrell, AJ., Nelson, M., Helgason, T., Dytham, C. and Fitter, AH., (2010). Relative roles of niche and neutral processes in structuring a soil microbial community. The ISME Journal. 4 (3), 337-345

Dumbrell, AJ., Nelson, M., Helgason, T., Dytham, C. and Fitter, AH., (2010). Erratum: Relative roles of niche and neutral processes in structuring a soil microbial community. The ISME Journal. 4 (8), 1078-1078

Dumbrell, AJ., Nelson, M., Helgason, T., Dytham, C. and Fitter, AH., (2010). Idiosyncrasy and overdominance in the structure of natural communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: is there a role for stochastic processes?. Journal of Ecology. 98 (2), 419-428

Fayle, TM., Chung, AYC., Dumbrell, AJ., Eggleton, P. and Foster, WA., (2009). The Effect of Rain Forest Canopy Architecture on the Distribution of Epiphytic Ferns (Aspleniumspp.) in Sabah, Malaysia. Biotropica. 41 (6), 676-681

Dumbrell, AJ., Clark, EJ., Frost, GA., Randell, TE., Pitchford, JW. and Hill, JK., (2008). Changes in species diversity following habitat disturbance are dependent on spatial scale: theoretical and empirical evidence. Journal of Applied Ecology. 45 (5), 1531-1539

Wüster, W., Dumbrell, AJ., Hay, C., Pook, CE., Williams, DJ. and Fry, BG., (2005). Snakes across the Strait: trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, and Pseudechis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 34 (1), 1-14

Dumbrell, AJ. and Hill, JK., (2005). Impacts of selective logging on canopy and ground assemblages of tropical forest butterflies: Implications for sampling. Biological Conservation. 125 (1), 123-131

Books (7)

Bohan, DA. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2019). Preface. Elsevier. 9780081028544

Eisenhauer, N., Bohan, DA. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2019). Preface: Mechanistic links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Elsevier. 9780081029121

Dumbrell, AJ., Woodward, G., Jackson, MC. and Bohan, DA., (2018). Preface. Elsevier. 9780128139493

Dumbrell, AJ., Woodward, G., Jackson, MC. and Bohan, DA., (2018). Preface. Elsevier. 9780128143179

Dumbrell, AJ., Kordas, RL. and Woodward, G., (2016). Preface. Elsevier. 9780081009352

Woodward, G., Dumbrell, AJ., Baird, DJ. and Hajibabaei, M., (2014). Preface. Elsevier. 9780080999708

Woodward, G., Dumbrell, AJ., Baird, DJ. and Hajibabaei, M., (2014). Big Data in Ecology. Elsevier. 978-0-08-099970-8

Book chapters (10)

Bohan, DA. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2019). ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH Resilience in Complex Socio-ecological Systems, vol 60 Preface. In: RESILIENCE IN COMPLEX SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. XI- XIII. 978-0-08-102854-4

Derocles, SAP., Bohan, DA., Dumbrell, AJ., Kitson, JJN., Massol, F., Pauvert, C., Plantegenest, M., Vacher, C. and Evans, DM., (2018). Biomonitoring for the 21st Century: Integrating Next-Generation Sequencing Into Ecological Network Analysis. In: Networks of Invasion: Empirical Evidence and Case Studies. Editors: Bohan, DA., Dumbrell, AJ. and Massol, F., . Academic Press. 1- 62. 978-0-12-813328-6

Redeker, KR., Cai, LL., Dumbrell, AJ., Bardill, A., Chong, JPJ. and Helgason, T., (2018). Noninvasive Analysis of the Soil Microbiome: Biomonitoring Strategies Using the Volatilome, Community Analysis, and Environmental Data. In: Advances in Ecological Research. Academic Press. 93- 132. 9780128143179

Dumbrell, AJ., Woodward, G., Jackson, MC. and Bohan, DA., (2018). ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH PREFACE. In: NEXT GENERATION BIOMONITORING, PT 2. XIII- XVI

Dumbrell, AJ., Woodward, G., Jackson, MC. and Bohan, DA., (2018). Next Generation Biomonitoring: Part 1 PREFACE. In: NEXT GENERATION BIOMONITORING, PT 1. XV- XVIII

Nedwell, DB., Underwood, GJC., McGenity, TJ., Whitby, C. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2016). The Colne Estuary. In: Advances in Ecological Research. Elsevier. 227- 281. 9780081009352

Jackson, MC., Weyl, OLF., Altermatt, F., Durance, I., Friberg, N., Dumbrell, AJ., Piggott, JJ., Tiegs, SD., Tockner, K., Krug, CB., Leadley, PW. and Woodward, G., (2016). Recommendations for the Next Generation of Global Freshwater Biological Monitoring Tools. In: Advances in Ecological Research. Elsevier. 615- 636. 9780081009352

Maček, I., Vodnik, D., Pfanz, H., Low-Décarie, E. and Dumbrell, AJ., (2016). Locally Extreme Environments as Natural Long-Term Experiments in Ecology. In: Advances in Ecological Research. Elsevier. 283- 323. 9780081009352

Woodward, G., Dumbrell, AJ., Baird, DJ. and Hajibabaei, M., (2014). Preface - Big Data in Ecology. In: Big Data in Ecology. Editors: Woodward, G., Dumbrell, AJ., Baird, DJ. and Hajibabaei, M., . Elsevier. ix- xiii. 978-0-08-099970-8

Dumbrell, AJ., (2013). Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi throughout the Year: Using Massively Parallel Pyrosequencing to Quantify Spatiotemporal Seasonal Dynamics. In: Molecular Microbial Ecology of the Rhizosphere. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. 1113- 1122. 9781118296172

Grants and funding

2018

A Novel Framework for Predicting Emerging Chemical Stressor Impacts in Complex Ecosystems

Natural Environment Research Council

Managing tropical agricultural ecosystems for resistance and recovery of ecosystem processes

University of Cambridge

FUSED - Functionality of Urban Soils supporting Ecosystem service Delivery

Natural Environment Research Council

Gradients of marine biodiversity and linkages with eDNA across the Wallacea Region

Natural Environment Research Council

2015

Rapid monitoring of bioaerosols in Urban, Agricultural and Industrial Environments

Natural Environment Research Council

Integrating Next Generation Sequencing Technologies into Food Web Ecology

Imperial College, London

Impacts of Global warming in sentinel systems: from genes to ecosystems

Natural Environment Research Council

Diversity and community composition of AMF in selected secondary succession areas in Balkan Peninsula

University of Ljubljana

Response of plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil hypoxia

University of Ljubljana

2014

Coral Reefs of New Providence Island, Bahamas

Blackstone Consultancy Ltd

2013

Do realignment sites restore microbial biodiversity-driven nutrient cycling and trace gas fluxes comparable to natural coastal ecosystems?

Natural Environment Research Council

Quantifying Ecosystem Resilience

Natural Environment Research Council

2012

A hierarchical approach to the examination of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem

Natural Environment Research Council

Suppression and Promotion of Clover Species through Plant-Species Specific Biotic Soil Legacies

University of Wageningen

The key role of DOM in regulating microbial diversity, community structure and

Natural Environment Research Council

2011

Understanding Mathematical Models in Ecology

British Ecological Society (BES)

Visiting Scientist Grant - University of Wageningen

University of Wageningen

Contact

adumb@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 872539

Location:

3SW.4.18, Colchester Campus