Becky Morris

Royal Society University Research Fellow


Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding the structure, dynamics and functioning of ecological communities. I am exploring patterns in ecological networks across both natural and human-modified environmental gradients, and quantifying changes in network structure and ecosystem functioning.  Crucially, I investigate the dynamic processes behind these patterns using manipulative, often large-scale, experiments. I have a particular interest in the roles of both indirect interactions and weak interactions. I work on insects, primarily herbivorous insects and their parasitoids and host plants, and much of my research is conducted in tropical forests. I am part of the NERC funded human-modified tropical forests research programme working at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project Site in Borneo.

For more details, including DPhil opportunities, see the Community Ecology Research Oxford website.

Additional Information

I am a member of the editorial board for the journal Biotropica.




Selected Publications

  • Morris, R.J., Sinclair, F. & Burwell, C.J. Food web structure changes with elevation but not rainforest strata. Ecography, 38, 792-802. doi: 10.1111/ecog.01078

  • Maunsell, S.C., Kitching, R.L., Burwell, C.J. & Morris, R.J. Changes in host-parasitoid food web structure with elevation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 84, 353-363. doi: 11/1365-2656.12285

  • Morris, R.J., Gripenberg, S., Lewis, O.T. & Roslin, T. (2014) Antagonistic interaction networks are structured independently of latitude and host guild. Ecology Letters 17, 340–349.

  • Schleuning M., Fründ J., Klein A.-M., Abrahamczyk S., Alarcón R., Albrecht, M., Andersson Georg K. S., Bazarian S., Böhning-Gaese K., Bommarco R., Dalsgaard B., Dehling D. M., Gotlieb A., Hagen M., Hickler T., Holzschuh A., Kaiser-Bunbury Christopher N., Kreft H., Morris, R. J., Sandel B., Sutherland W.J., Svenning J.-C., Tscharntke T., Watts S., Weiner C.N., Werner M., Williams N. M., Winqvist C., Dormann C. F. and Blüthgen N. (2012) Specialization of Mutualistic Interaction Networks Decreases toward Tropical Latitudes. Current Biology 22, 1925-1931.

  • Morris, R.J. (2010) Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365, 3709-3718.

  • MacFadyen, S., Gibson, R., Polaszek, A., Morris, R. J., Craze, P.G., Planqué R., Symondson, W.O.C. & Memmott, J. (2009) Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control? Ecology Letters 12, 229–238.

  • van Veen, F., Morris, R.J. & Godfray, H.C.J. (2006) Apparent competition, quantitative food webs, and the structure of phytophagous insect communities. Annual Review of Entomology 51, 187–208.

  • Morris, R.J., Lewis, O.T. & Godfray, H.C.J. (2004) Experimental evidence for apparent competition in a tropical forest food web. Nature 428, 310-313.