Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Biodiversity Theory



+44 (0)20 7594 2242j.rosindell




W1.5KennedySilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Rosindell, J and Harmon, LJ and Etienne, RS},
doi = {10.1111/ele.12430},
journal = {Ecology Letters},
pages = {472--482},
title = {Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual-based theory},
url = {},
volume = {18},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - A contemporary goal in both ecology and evolutionary biology is to develop theory that transcends the boundary between the two disciplines, to understand phenomena that cannot be explained by either field in isolation. This is challenging because macroevolution typically uses lineagebased models, whereas ecology often focuses on individual organisms. Here, we develop a new parsimonious individualbased theory by adding mild selection to the neutral theory of biodiversity. We show that this model generates realistic phylogenies showing a slowdown in diversification and also improves on the ecological predictions of neutral theory by explaining the occurrence of very common species. Moreover, we find the distribution of individual fitness changes over time, with average fitness increasing at a pace that depends positively on community size. Consequently, large communities tend to produce fitter species than smaller communities. These findings have broad implications beyond biodiversity theory, potentially impacting, for example, invasion biology and paleontology.
AU - Rosindell,J
AU - Harmon,LJ
AU - Etienne,RS
DO - 10.1111/ele.12430
EP - 482
PY - 2015///
SN - 1461-023X
SP - 472
TI - Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual-based theory
T2 - Ecology Letters
UR -
UR -
VL - 18
ER -