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



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

Rivett DW, Scheuerl T, Culbert CT, et al., 2016, Resource-dependent attenuation of species interactions during bacterial succession, Isme Journal, Vol:10, ISSN:1751-7362, Pages:2259-2268

Dupont AOC, Griffiths RI, Bell T, et al., 2016, Differences in soil micro-eukaryotic communities over soil pH gradients are strongly driven by parasites and saprotrophs, Environmental Microbiology, Vol:18, ISSN:1462-2912, Pages:2010-2024

Slade EM, Roslin T, Santalahti M, et al., 2016, Disentangling the "brown world' faecal-detritus interaction web: dung beetle effects on soil microbial properties, Oikos, Vol:125, ISSN:0030-1299, Pages:629-635

Fisher RM, Bell T, West SA, 2016, Multicellular group formation in response to predators in the alga Chlorella vulgaris, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol:29, ISSN:1010-061X, Pages:551-559

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