Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Professor of 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



Mombrikotb SB, Van Agtmaal M, Johnstone E, et al., 2022, The interactions and hierarchical effects of long-term agricultural stressors on soil bacterial communities, Environmental Microbiology Reports, Vol:14, ISSN:1758-2229, Pages:711-718

Pascual-Garcia A, Bell T, 2020, functionInk: An efficient method to detect functional groups in multidimensional networks reveals the hidden structure of ecological communities, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-210X, Pages:804-817

Pascual Garcia A, Bell T, 2020, Community-level signatures of ecological succession in natural bacterial communities, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

Bell T, Pascual Garcia A, Bonhoeffer S, 2020, Metabolically cohesive microbial consortia and ecosystem functioning, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:374, ISSN:0962-8436

Scheuerl T, Hopkins M, Nowell R, et al., 2020, Bacterial adaptation is constrained in complex communities, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

More Publications