Andrew Illius


1977 Ph.D., University of Nottingham
1977-79 Postdoctoral fellow, Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria
1979 Joined University of Edinburgh
1998 Reader in Ecology
2000 Professor of Animal Ecology

Research summary

I work on plant-herbivore interactions, at physiological, individual and population levels. The work covers foraging behaviour; diet selection, the control of food intake, digestion and metabolism. Recent work addresses individual and population responses to the temporal and spatial pattern of resources and the dynamics of temperate and semi-arid grazing systems. My objective is to establish a mechanistic understanding of how the underlying physiological and behavioural processes affect individual and population responses to the biotic and abiotic environment. The work spans a number of disciplines, combines experimental and modelling techniques, and is pursued through extensive collaborative links.

Current projects include work on savanna dynamics in relation to climatic variability; browse production and utilisation in semi-arid grazing systems; tree-grass interactions in savanna; a test of hypotheses about the relationship between resource heterogeneity and ungulate population dynamics.

Illius, A.W. & O'Connor, T.G. (1999) When is grazing a major determinant of rangeland condition and productivity? Proc VI Intl Rangelands Cong. 1, 419-423

Illius, A.W. & O'Connor, T.G. (2000) Resource heterogeneity and ungulate population dynamics. Oikos 89, 283-294

Murray, M.G. & Illius, A.W. (2000) Vegetation modification and resource competition in grazing ungulate communities. Oikos 89, 501-508

Yearsley JM, Hastings IM, Gordon IJ, Kyriazakis I & Illius AW (2002) A lifetime perspective on foraging and mortality. Journal of Theoretical Biology 215, 385-397.

Fritz H, Duncan P, Gordon IJ, Illius AW (2002) Megaherbivores influence trophic guilds structure in African ungulate communities. Oecologia (Berlin) 131, 620-625

Illius, AW, Duncan, P, Richard, C and Mesochina, P (2002) Mechanisms of functional response and resource exploitation in browsing roe deer. J. Anim. Ecol. 71, 723-734

Illius, A. W., Tolkamp, B. J.. and Yearsley, J. (2002) The evolution of the control of food intake Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 61 , 465-472

Yearsley JM, Kyriazakis A, Gordon IJ, Johnston SL, Speakman JR, Tolkamp BJ, Illius AW (2005) A life history model of somatic damage associated with resource acquisition: damage protection or prevention? J Theor. Biol 235, 305-317

Wang GM, Hobbs NT, Boone RB, Illius AW, Gordon IJ, Gross JE, Hamlin KL (2006) Spatial and temporal variability modify density dependence in populations of large herbivores Ecology 87, 95-102