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.



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

Lawrence D, Bell T, Barraclough TG, 2016, The Effect of Immigration on the Adaptation of Microbial Communities to Warming, American Naturalist, Vol:187, ISSN:0003-0147, Pages:236-248

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

Fiegna F, Scheuerl T, Moreno-Letelier A, et al., 2015, Saturating effects of species diversity on life-history evolution in bacteria, Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological Sciences, Vol:282, ISSN:0962-8452

Friman V-P, Guzman LM, Reuman DC, et al., 2015, Bacterial adaptation to sublethal antibiotic gradients can change the ecological properties of multitrophic microbial communities, Proceedings of the Royal Society B-biological Sciences, Vol:282, ISSN:0962-8452

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