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Professor Jon W Pitchford



PURE Staff link York Research Database

I am a professor in the Departments of Biology and Mathematics (there is an Ali Smith book called “How to be both”, which I like). My work depends on a talented and diverse set of collaborators; the work, and the people, tend to be challenging, entertaining, frustrating and fun.

I am interested in ecological complexity, and how this depends on the mathematical language of nonlinearity and uncertainty. This matters at various scales ranging from the cellular and microbial (circadian rhythms, co-evolution of pathogens and antibiotic resistance, evolution of reproduction) to large-scale biodiversity and conservation (stability and connectivity of marine systems, metacommunity models, dynamic multi-species size spectra). There are also applications in the world of human disease, including cystic fibrosis and Leishmaniasis.

I lead a large NERC/ESRC research grant called Pyramids of Life, which re-imagines our harvest of marine resources to align better with the natural productivity and stability of marine ecosystems. This work is underpinned by rigorous mathematics and hard-won datasets, but much of the challenge and the excitement comes in communicating our ideas usefully with managers, legislators, retailers, conservationists, and (perhaps most importantly) consumers and fishers.

Dr Jon W Pitchford

Contact details

Professor Jon W Pitchford
Department of Biology
University of York
PO Box 373
YO10 5YW