Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Microbial Ecology



+44 (0)20 7594 2268thomas.bell




MunroSilwood Park





Ecology of microbes

See my Personal Website for more details.

My research looks at the ecology and evolution of microbial communities. Microbial communities are among the most complex, diverse, and poorly understood groups of organisms. My research combines laboratory-based experiments with field-based manipulations of naturally-occurring communities.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in bacterial communities, including methods for developing and analyzing large-scale biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments.
  • Spatial patterns in bacterial communities.
  • Predator-prey relationships among microbial groups, particularly the effect of protist predators on bacterial prey.


Research focus



Rivett DW, Bell T, 2018, Abundance determines the functional role of bacterial phylotypes in complex communities, Nature Microbiology, Vol:3, ISSN:2058-5276, Pages:767-+

Rivett DW, Jones ML, Ramoneda J, et al., 2018, Elevated success of multispecies bacterial invasions impacts community composition during ecological succession, Ecology Letters, Vol:21, ISSN:1461-023X, Pages:516-524

Jones ML, Ramoneda J, Rivett DW, et al., 2017, Biotic resistance shapes the influence of propagule pressure on invasion success in bacterial communities., Ecology, Vol:98, ISSN:0012-9658, Pages:1743-1749

Bell T, Tylianakis JM, 2016, Microbes in the Anthropocene: spillover of agriculturally selected bacteria and their impact on natural ecosystems, Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological Sciences, Vol:283, ISSN:0962-8452

Lehmann K, Bell T, Bowes MJ, et al., 2016, Trace levels of sewage effluent are sufficient to increase class 1 integron prevalence in freshwater biofilms without changing the core community, Water Research, Vol:106, ISSN:0043-1354, Pages:163-170

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