Dr Eoin O'Gorman

School of Life Sciences
Dr Eoin O'Gorman



My research is focused on understanding the impacts of global change across multiple levels of biological organisation. Just as the human body is made up of individual cells, which combine to form tissues, which in turn form organs and organ systems; DNA is the blueprint of all organisms, which form populations that interact in ecological communities, which carry out important ecosystem processes. We cannot understand how either the human body or ecosystems function without studying the emergent properties at each new level of organisation and how they respond to stress, such as increasing temperature or chemicals. I have undertaken research within this general framework in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, seeking common responses to environmental and anthropogenic stressors across these different ecosystem types. I seek simple rules that lead to stabilising structures, with a particular focus on body size as a key functional attribute that drives interactions and self-organisation in food webs.


  • BSc University College Cork, (2004)

  • PhD University College Cork, (2009)


University of Essex

  • Lecturer in Ecology, School of Life Sciences, University of Essex (1/2/2019 - present)

  • NERC Fellow, School of Life Sciences, University of Essex (1/2/2019 - 30/9/2019)

Other academic

  • NERC Fellow, Silwood Park Campus, Imperial College London (1/10/2014 - 31/1/2019)

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Silwood Park Campus, Imperial College London (1/3/2013 - 30/9/2014)

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Queen Mary University of London (1/10/2011 - 28/2/2013)

  • IRC Research Fellow, University College Dublin (27/12/2010 - 30/9/2011)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Climate change

Our planet is warming at an unprecedented rate. This will have consequences for individuals (e.g. metabolism), interactions (e.g. feeding rate), communities (e.g. diversity), and entire ecosystems (e.g. carbon cycling). I study the impacts of warming across all these levels of biological organisation.

Key words: global warming
Open to supervise

Food webs

Species do not exist in isolation. They are part of complex networks of interacting organisms. Understanding the fate of individual species in the face of environmental change requires knowledge of their consumers and their resources. I am interested in studying broadscale patterns in the structure and stability of food webs to identify vulnerable organisms and cascading effects in ecosystems.

Key words: ecological networks
Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Animal Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour (BS113)

  • Marine Biology Field Skills (BS114)

  • Quantitative methods for Life Sciences (BS141)

  • Transferable Skills in Life Sciences (BS143)

  • Applied Wildlife Sciences (BS243)

  • Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists (BS257)

  • Climate Change and Pollution (BS345)

  • Freshwater Ecology (BS352)

  • Research Project in Life Sciences (BS832)


Journal articles (47)

Romero, GQ., Marino, NAC., MacDonald, AAM., Céréghino, R., Trzcinski, MK., Mercado, DA., Leroy, C., Corbara, B., Farjalla, VF., Barberis, IM., Dézerald, O., Hammill, E., Atwood, TB., Piccoli, GCO., Bautista, FO., Carrias, J-F., Leal, JS., Montero, G., Antiqueira, PAP., Freire, R., Realpe, E., Amundrud, SL., de Omena, PM., Campos, ABA., Kratina, P., O'Gorman, EJ. and Srivastava, DS., (2020). Extreme rainfall events alter the trophic structure in bromeliad tanks across the Neotropics. Nature Communications. 11 (1), 3215-

Wiederkehr, F., Wilkinson, CL., Zeng, Y., Yeo, DCJ., Ewers, RM. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2020). Urbanisation affects ecosystem functioning more than structure in tropical streams. Biological Conservation. 249, 108634-108634

Kreiling, A-K., O’Gorman, EJ., Pálsson, S., Benhaïm, D., Leblanc, CA., Ólafsson, JS. and Kristjánsson, BK., (2020). Seasonal variation in the invertebrate community and diet of a top fish predator in a thermally stable spring. Hydrobiologia

O'Gorman, E., (2020). Multitrophic diversity sustains ecological complexity by dampening top-down control of a shallow marine benthic food web. Ecology, e03274-

Cloyed, CS., Dell, AI., Hayes, T., Kordas, RL. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2019). Long‐term exposure to higher temperature increases the thermal sensitivity of grazer metabolism and movement. Journal of Animal Ecology. 88 (6), 833-844

Brose, U., Archambault, P., Barnes, AD., Bersier, L-F., Boy, T., Canning-Clode, J., Conti, E., Dias, M., Digel, C., Dissanayake, A., Flores, AAV., Fussmann, K., Gauzens, B., Gray, C., Häussler, J., Hirt, MR., Jacob, U., Jochum, M., Kéfi, S., McLaughlin, O., MacPherson, MM., Latz, E., Layer-Dobra, K., Legagneux, P., Li, Y., Madeira, C., Martinez, ND., Mendonça, V., Mulder, C., Navarrete, SA., O'Gorman, EJ., Ott, D., Paula, J., Perkins, D., Piechnik, D., Pokrovsky, I., Raffaelli, D., Rall, BC., Rosenbaum, B., Ryser, R., Silva, A., Sohlström, EH., Sokolova, N., Thompson, MSA., Thompson, RM., Vermandele, F., Vinagre, C., Wang, S., Wefer, JM., Williams, RJ., Wieters, E., Woodward, G. and Iles, AC., (2019). Predator traits determine food-web architecture across ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3 (6), 919-927

O'Gorman, EJ., Petchey, OL., Faulkner, KJ., Gallo, B., Gordon, TAC., Neto-Cerejeira, J., Ólafsson, JS., Pichler, DE., Thompson, MSA. and Woodward, G., (2019). A simple model predicts how warming simplifies wild food webs. Nature Climate Change. 9 (8), 611-616

Archer, LC., Sohlström, EH., Gallo, B., Jochum, M., Woodward, G., Kordas, RL., Rall, BC. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2019). Consistent temperature dependence of functional response parameters and their use in predicting population abundance. Journal of Animal Ecology. 88 (11), 1670-1683

Kratina, P., Watts, TJ., Green, DS., Kordas, RL. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2019). Interactive effects of warming and microplastics on metabolism but not feeding rates of a key freshwater detritivore. Environmental Pollution. 255 (Pt 2), 113259-113259

Gordon, TAC., Neto-Cerejeira, J., Furey, PC. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2018). Changes in feeding selectivity of freshwater invertebrates across a natural thermal gradient. Current Zoology. 64 (2), 231-242

Collins, RA., Wangensteen, OS., O'Gorman, EJ., Mariani, S., Sims, DW. and Genner, MJ., (2018). Persistence of environmental DNA in marine systems.. Communications Biology. 1 (1), 185-

Robinson, SI., McLaughlin, ÓB., Marteinsdóttir, B. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2018). Soil temperature effects on the structure and diversity of plant and invertebrate communities in a natural warming experiment.. Journal of Animal Ecology. 87 (3), 634-646

Scrine, J., Jochum, M., Ólafsson, JS. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2017). Interactive effects of temperature and habitat complexity on freshwater communities. Ecology and Evolution. 7 (22), 9333-9346

O’Gorman, EJ., Zhao, L., Pichler, DE., Adams, G., Friberg, N., Rall, BC., Seeney, A., Zhang, H., Reuman, DC. and Woodward, G., (2017). Unexpected changes in community size structure in a natural warming experiment. Nature Climate Change. 7 (9), 659-663

Brose, U., Blanchard, JL., Eklöf, A., Galiana, N., Hartvig, M., R. Hirt, M., Kalinkat, G., Nordström, MC., O'Gorman, EJ., Rall, BC., Schneider, FD., Thébault, E. and Jacob, U., (2017). Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches. Biological Reviews. 92 (2), 684-697

Nishar, A., Bader, MK-F., O'Gorman, EJ., Deng, J., Breen, B. and Leuzinger, S., (2017). Temperature Effects on Biomass and Regeneration of Vegetation in a Geothermal Area.. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8, 249-

Zhao, L., Zhang, H., O'Gorman, EJ., Tian, W., Ma, A., Moore, JC., Borrett, SR. and Woodward, G., (2016). Weighting and indirect effects identify keystone species in food webs. Ecology Letters. 19 (9), 1032-1040

O'Gorman, EJ., Ólafsson, ÓP., Demars, BOL., Friberg, N., Guðbergsson, G., Hannesdóttir, ER., Jackson, MC., Johansson, LS., McLaughlin, ÓB., Ólafsson, JS., Woodward, G. and Gíslason, GM., (2016). Temperature effects on fish production across a natural thermal gradient. Global Change Biology. 22 (9), 3206-3220

Donohue, I., Hillebrand, H., Montoya, JM., Petchey, OL., Pimm, SL., Fowler, MS., Healy, K., Jackson, AL., Lurgi, M., McClean, D., O'Connor, NE., O'Gorman, EJ. and Yang, Q., (2016). Navigating the complexity of ecological stability. Ecology Letters. 19 (9), 1172-1185

Gray, C., Hildrew, AG., Lu, X., Ma, A., McElroy, D., Monteith, D., O’Gorman, E., Shilland, E. and Woodward, G., (2016). Recovery and Nonrecovery of Freshwater Food Webs from the Effects of Acidification. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 55: LARGE-SCALE ECOLOGY: MODEL SYSTEMS TO GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES. 55, 475-534

O'Gorman, EJ., (2016). It's only a matter of time: the altered role of subsidies in a warming world. Journal of Animal Ecology. 85 (5), 1133-1135

McElroy, DJ., O'Gorman, EJ., Schneider, FD., Hetjens, H., Le Merrer, P., Coleman, RA. and Emmerson, M., (2015). Size-balanced community reorganization in response to nutrients and warming. Global Change Biology. 21 (11), 3971-3981

Plebani, M., Fussmann, KE., Hansen, DM., O'Gorman, EJ., Stewart, RIA., Woodward, G. and Petchey, OL., (2015). Substratum-dependent responses of ciliate assemblages to temperature: a natural experiment in Icelandic streams. Freshwater Biology. 60 (8), 1561-1570

O'Gorman, EJ., (2014). Integrating comparative functional response experiments into global change research. Journal of Animal Ecology. 83 (3), 525-527

Gray, C., Baird, DJ., Baumgartner, S., Jacob, U., Jenkins, GB., O'Gorman, EJ., Lu, X., Ma, A., Pocock, MJO., Schuwirth, N., Thompson, M. and Woodward, G., (2014). FORUM: Ecological networks: the missing links in biomonitoring science. Journal of Applied Ecology. 51 (5), 1444-1449

O'Gorman, EJ., Benstead, JP., Cross, WF., Friberg, N., Hood, JM., Johnson, PW., Sigurdsson, BD. and Woodward, G., (2014). Climate change and geothermal ecosystems: natural laboratories, sentinel systems, and future refugia. Global Change Biology. 20 (11), 3291-3299

Salvaterra, T., Green, DS., Crowe, TP. and O’Gorman, EJ., (2013). Impacts of the invasive alga Sargassum muticum on ecosystem functioning and food web structure. Biological Invasions. 15 (11), 2563-2576

McLaughlin, ÓB., Emmerson, MC. and O’Gorman, EJ., (2013). Habitat Isolation Reduces the Temporal Stability of Island Ecosystems in the Face of Flood Disturbance. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 48: GLOBAL CHANGE IN MULTISPECIES SYSTEMS, PT 3. 48, 225-284

Hannesdóttir, ER., Gíslason, GM., Ólafsson, JS., Ólafsson, ÓP. and O’Gorman, EJ., (2013). Increased Stream Productivity with Warming Supports Higher Trophic Levels. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 48: GLOBAL CHANGE IN MULTISPECIES SYSTEMS, PT 3. 48, 285-342

Adams, GL., Pichler, DE., Cox, EJ., O'Gorman, EJ., Seeney, A., Woodward, G. and Reuman, DC., (2013). Diatoms can be an important exception to temperature–size rules at species and community levels of organization. Global Change Biology. 19 (11), 3540-3552

Hudson, LN., Emerson, R., Jenkins, GB., Layer, K., Ledger, ME., Pichler, DE., Thompson, MSA., O'Gorman, EJ., Woodward, G. and Reuman, DC., (2013). Cheddar: analysis and visualisation of ecological communities in R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 4 (1), 99-104

O’Gorman, EJ. and Woodward, G., (2013). Preface. Advances in Ecological Research. 48, xiii-xxii

O’Gorman, EJ. and Hone, DWE., (2012). Body Size Distribution of the Dinosaurs. PLoS ONE. 7 (12), e51925-e51925

O'Gorman, EJ., Fitch, JE. and Crowe, TP., (2012). Multiple anthropogenic stressors and the structural properties of food webs. Ecology. 93 (3), 441-448

Woodward, G., Jacob, U. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2012). Editorial Commentary: Global Change in Multispecies Systems Part 2 PREFACE. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 47: GLOBAL CHANGE IN MULTISPECIES SYSTEMS, PT 2. 47, XV-XXI

Jochum, M., Schneider, FD., Crowe, TP., Brose, U. and O'Gorman, EJ., (2012). Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 367 (1605), 2962-2970

O'Gorman, EJ., Pichler, DE., Adams, G., Benstead, JP., Cohen, H., Craig, N., Cross, WF., Demars, BOL., Friberg, N., Gíslason, GM., Gudmundsdóttir, R., Hawczak, A., Hood, JM., Hudson, LN., Johansson, L., Johansson, MP., Junker, JR., Laurila, A., Manson, JR., Mavromati, E., Nelson, D., Ólafsson, JS., Perkins, DM., Petchey, OL., Plebani, M., Reuman, DC., Rall, BC., Stewart, R., Thompson, MSA. and Woodward, G., (2012). Impacts of Warming on the Structure and Functioning of Aquatic Communities. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 47: GLOBAL CHANGE IN MULTISPECIES SYSTEMS, PT 2. 47, 81-176

Hagen, M., Kissling, WD., Rasmussen, C., De Aguiar, MAM., Brown, LE., Carstensen, DW., Alves-Dos-Santos, I., Dupont, YL., Edwards, FK., Genini, J., Guimarães, PR., Jenkins, GB., Jordano, P., Kaiser-Bunbury, CN., Ledger, ME., Maia, KP., Marquitti, FMD., Mclaughlin, Ó., Morellato, LPC., O'Gorman, EJ., Trøjelsgaard, K., Tylianakis, JM., Vidal, MM., Woodward, G. and Olesen, JM., (2012). Biodiversity, Species Interactions and Ecological Networks in a Fragmented World. ADVANCES IN ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH, VOL 46: GLOBAL CHANGE IN MULTISPECIES SYSTEMS, PT 1. 46, 89-210

Longmore, C., Trueman, CN., Neat, F., O’Gorman, EJ., Milton, JA. and Mariani, S., (2011). Otolith geochemistry indicates life-long spatial population structuring in a deep-sea fish, Coryphaenoides rupestris. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 435, 209-224

O'Gorman, EJ., Yearsley, JM., Crowe, TP., Emmerson, MC., Jacob, U. and Petchey, OL., (2011). Loss of functionally unique species may gradually undermine ecosystems. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 278 (1713), 1886-1893

O'Gorman, EJ. and Emmerson, MC., (2011). Body mass-abundance relationships are robust to cascading effects in marine food webs. Oikos. 120 (4), 520-528

O’Gorman, EJ., Jacob, U., Jonsson, T. and Emmerson, MC., (2010). Interaction strength, food web topology and the relative importance of species in food webs. Journal of Animal Ecology. 79 (3), 682-692

Woodward, G., Benstead, JP., Beveridge, OS., Blanchard, J., Brey, T., Brown, LE., Cross, WF., Friberg, N., Ings, TC., Jacob, U., Jennings, S., Ledger, ME., Milner, AM., Montoya, JM., O'Gorman, E., Olesen, JM., Petchey, OL., Pichler, DE., Reuman, DC., Thompson, MSA., Van Veen, FJF. and Yvon-Durocher, G., (2010). Ecological Networks in a Changing Climate. Advances in Ecological Research. 42 (C), 71-138

O'Gorman, EJ. and Emmerson, MC., (2010). Manipulating Interaction Strengths and the Consequences for Trivariate Patterns in a Marine Food Web. Advances in Ecological Research. 42 (C), 301-419

Olesen, JM., Dupont, YL., O'Gorman, E., Ings, TC., Layer, K., Melián, CJ., Trøjelsgaard, K., Pichler, DE., Rasmussen, C. and Woodward, G., (2010). From Broadstone to Zackenberg: Space, time and hierarchies in ecological networks. Advances in Ecological Research. 42 (C), 1-69

O'Gorman, EJ. and Emmerson, MC., (2009). Perturbations to trophic interactions and the stability of complex food webs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (32), 13393-13398

O’Gorman, EJ., Enright, RA. and Emmerson, MC., (2008). Predator diversity enhances secondary production and decreases the likelihood of trophic cascades. Oecologia. 158 (3), 557-567

Book chapters (2)

Griffin, JN., O’Gorman, EJ., Emmerson, MC., Jenkins, SR., Klein, A-M., Loreau, M. and Symstad, A., (2009). Biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem functioning. In: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing. Oxford University Press. 78- 93. 9780199547951

Petchey, OL., J. O’Gorman, E. and Flynn, DFB., (2009). A functional guide to functional diversity measures. In: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing. Oxford University Press. 49- 59. 9780199547951

Media (1)

O'Gorman, E., Trout in hot water

Grants and funding


Functionality and Ecological Connectivity of Man-Made Structures (FuECoMMS)

Natural Environment Research Council


Impacts of Habitat Fragmentation in a Warming World

Natural Environment Research Council

+44 (0) 1206 876389


3SW.3.14A, Colchester Campus