Dr Thomas Reed


  • 2015: Lecturer in Zoology, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Science, UCC
  • 2013-2014: Research Fellow (Beaufort Fish Population Genetics Project), School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC
  • 2011- 2013: Postdoctoral Researcher, Animal Ecology Department, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
  • 2008- 2010: Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, University of Washington
  • 2007 – 2008: Field assistant, Sparrow Weaver project, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
  • 2004 – 2007: PhD, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh
  • 2003: Environmental Consultant, KOS Consulting Ltd, Galway.

Research Interests

Tom has broad research interests in ecology, evolution, behaviour and conservation. At the whole organism level, he is interested in the diverse strategies that individual animals employ to survive and reproduce in dynamic environments (increasingly shaped by humans), such as phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic buffering, alternative behavioural/reproductive tactics and bet hedging (including dormancy and dispersal). At levels above the individual, he is interested in how genetic and phenotypic changes come about in populations and how evolutionary and ecological processes interactively affect population numbers and interspecific interactions at different scales.

Currently Tom and his students work mainly on migration strategies and associated life history variation in salmonid fishes. He continues to be involved, however, in various bird projects together with collaborators in Ireland (UCC, Birdwatch Ireland) and abroad (long-term population studies of songbirds in the Netherlands and seabirds in Scotland).

A major ornithological research focus for Tom has concerned the degree to which individual birds can flexibly adjust – and populations can evolve – their timing of breeding in response to climate change and the population consequences of timing mismatches between birds and their food.


  1. Quinn, J.L., Cole, E.F., Reed, T.E., Morand-Ferron, F. (2016) Environmental and genetic determinants of innovativeness in a natural population of birds. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. doi: 
  2. Sydeman, W. J., Poloczanska, E., Reed, T. E., & Thompson, S. A. (2015). Climate change and marine vertebrates. Science, 350(6262), 772-777
  3. Schindler, D. E., Armstrong, J. B., & Reed, T. E. (2015). The portfolio concept in ecology and evolution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13(5), 257-263
  4. Reed, T. E., Harris, M. P., & Wanless, S. (2015). Skipped breeding in common guillemots in a changing climate: restraint or constraint? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 3, 1
  5. Gienapp, P., Reed, T. E., & Visser, M. E. (2014). Why climate change will invariably alter selection pressures on phenologyProceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 281(1793), 20141611
  6. Daunt, F., Reed, T. E., Newell, M., Burthe, S., Phillips, R. A., Lewis, S., & Wanless, S. (2014). Longitudinal bio-logging reveals interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic carry-over effects in a long-lived vertebrate. Ecology, 95(8), 2077-2083
  7. Reed, T. E., Grøtan, V., Jenouvrier, S., Sæther, B. E., & Visser, M. E. (2013). Population growth in a wild bird is buffered against phenological mismatchScience, 340(6131), 488-491
  8. Reed, T. E., Warzybok, P., Wilson, A. J., Bradley, R. W., Wanless, S., & Sydeman, W. J. (2009). Timing is everything: flexible phenology and shifting selection in a colonial seabird. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78(2), 376-387
  9. Reed, T. E., Daunt, F., Hall, M. E., Phillips, R. A., Wanless, S., & Cunningham, E. J. A. (2008). Parasite treatment affects maternal investment in sons. Science, 321(5896), 1681-1682
  10. Reed, T. E., Kruuk, L. E., Wanless, S., Frederiksen, M., Cunningham, E. J., & Harris, M. P. (2008). Reproductive senescence in a long‐lived seabird: rates of decline in late‐life performance are associated with varying costs of early reproduction. The American Naturalist, 171(2), E89-E101
  11. Reed, T. E., Wanless, S., Harris, M. P., Frederiksen, M., Kruuk, L. E., & Cunningham, E. J. (2006). Responding to environmental change: plastic responses vary little in a synchronous breeder. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 273(1602), 2713-2719

Professional Activity



Contact Details:


Lecturer in Zoology

Work Area:




UCC Ornithology Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC North Mall Campus, North Mall, Cork City,