Owen Lewis


Professor of Ecology and Tutor in Biology




MA (Oxford), PhD (Leeds)

Academic Background

I grew up in Bridgend, South Wales where I attended Brynteg School. I studied Biological Sciences at St. Hugh's College, Oxford and then did a PhD on the population ecology of butterflies at the University of Leeds. I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College, The Natural History Museum (London) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama) before returning to Oxford in 2001. I have been Fellow and Tutor in Biology at Brasenose since October 2007 and am currently Head of the Ecology and Conservation Section in the Department of Biology.

Research Interests

I am a community ecologist and conservation biologist, studying the processes that maintain, structure and threaten biodiversity, particularly in highly diverse tropical rainforest ecosystems. I have a particular fondness for insects. Further information is available on the Department of Biology web site: https://www.biology.ox.ac.uk/people/professor-owen-lewis, from my research group pages at https://communityecology.zoo.ox.ac.uk/ or you can follow me on Twitter (@OwenTLewis).


I teach in all years of the Biology course, mostly ecology, entomology and conservation biology, and supervise students for 4th year research projects. Each year I also run a field course in Tropical Forest Ecology in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

Publications include

Chen, J. & Lewis, O.T. (2023). Experimental heatwaves facilitate invasion and alter species interactions and composition in a tropical host-parasitoid community. Global Change Biology, in press.

*Jeffs, C.T., Terry, C.D., Higgie, M., Jandová, A., Konvičková, H., Brown, J.J.,  Lue, C.H., Schiffer, M., O’Brien, E.K., Bridle, J., Hrcek, J., Lewis, O.T. (2020). Molecular analyses reveal consistent food web structure with elevation in rainforest Drosophila – parasitoid communities. Ecography, 44, 403-413.

Wong, M., Guénard, B., & Lewis, O.T. (2020). The cryptic impacts of invasion: Functional homogenization of tropical ant communities by invasive fire ants. Oikos 129, 585-597.

*Boyes, D.H. & Lewis, O.T. (2018). Ecology of Lepidoptera associated with bird nests in mid-Wales, UK. Ecological Entomology 44, 1-10.

*Jeffs, C.T., Kennedy, P., Griffith, P., Gripenberg, S., Markesteijn, L. & Lewis, O.T. (2018). Seed predation by insects across a tropical forest precipitation gradient. Ecological Entomology, 43, 813–822.

Bagchi, R., Gallery, R.E., Gripenberg, S., Gurr, S.J., Narayan, L., Addis, C.E., Freckleton, R.P. & Lewis, O.T. (2014) Pathogens and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition. Nature 506, 85–88.

*Publications co-authored with former Brasenose Biology undergraduates

Email address

[email protected]






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