Dr Natalie Cooper

Dr Natalie Cooper

Researcher

Department: Life Sciences
Division: LS Vertebrates Division
Phone: 0207942 5083
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Summary

My research sits at the interface between macroecology and macroevolution, and aims to understand broad-scale patterns of biodiversity. I use cutting-edge phylogenetic comparative methods, morphological data collected from museum specimens, phylogenies, ecological data, species geographic range maps, fossils and various larger databases, to investigate a variety of questions including the influence of competition on macroevolutionary patterns, rates and modes of evolution, and the evolutionary ecology of zoonotic diseases. I also critique and develop phylogenetic comparative methods.

Qualifications

Degrees

PhD, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2009

MSc, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 2004 - 2005

BSc, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2004

Employment history

Academic

Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2012 - 2015

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, United States, 2010 - 2011

Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, United States, 2009 - 2010

Highlighted publications

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Effects of missing data on topological inference using a Total Evidence approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94 : 146 - 158. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.023

Finlay S, Cooper N (2015) Morphological diversity in tenrecs (Afrosoricida, Tenrecidae): comparing tenrec skull diversity to their closest relatives. PeerJ, 3 : e927 - e927. doi: 10.7717/peerj.927

Nunn CL, Cooper N (2015) Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT). Evolution, 69 (1) : 245 - 253. doi: 10.1111/evo.12520

Healy K, Guillerme T, Finlay S, Kane A, Kelly SBA, et al. (2014) Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1784) : 20140298 - 20140298. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0298

Healy K, Mcnally L, Ruxton GD, Cooper N, Jackson AL (2013) Metabolic rate and body size are linked with perception of temporal information. Animal Behaviour, 86 (4) : 685 - 696. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.018

Kamilar JM, Cooper N (2013) Phylogenetic signal in primate behaviour, ecology and life history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) : 20120341 - 20120341. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0341

Grants

Evolutionary Ecology and Fossil Primates
Role: Principal investigator
Funding: FP7 - People
Total value £100,000
Dates: 2012 - 2015

Committees

Vice chair, British Ecological Society Macroecology Special Interest Group,

Member, British Ecological Society Publications Committee,

Memberships

Member, British Ecological Society.

Member, Society of Systematic Biologists.

Editorships

Associate editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution,

Publications

Cooper N, Thomas GH, Venditti C, Meade A, Freckleton RP (2016) A cautionary note on the use of Ornstein Uhlenbeck models in macroevolutionary studies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 118 (1) : 64 - 77. doi: 10.1111/bij.12701

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Assessment of available anatomical characters for linking living mammals to fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses. Biology Letters, 12 (5) : 20151003 - 20151003. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.1003

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Effects of missing data on topological inference using a Total Evidence approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94 : 146 - 158. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.023

Finlay S, Cooper N (2015) Morphological diversity in tenrecs (Afrosoricida, Tenrecidae): comparing tenrec skull diversity to their closest relatives. PeerJ, 3 : e927 - e927. doi: 10.7717/peerj.927

Nunn CL, Cooper N (2015) Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT). Evolution, 69 (1) : 245 - 253. doi: 10.1111/evo.12520

Kelly SBA, Kelly DJ, Cooper N, Bahrun A, Analuddin K, Marples NM (2014) Molecular and phenotypic data support the recognition of the Wakatobi flowerpecker (Dicaeum kuehni) from the unique and understudied Sulawesi region. PLoS ONE, 9 (6) : e98694 - e98694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098694

Cooper N, Nunn CL (null) SPELT: Species Pairs Evolutionary Lag Test (SPELT).

Healy K, Guillerme T, Finlay S, Kane A, Kelly SBA, Mcclean D, Kelly DJ, Donohue I, Jackson AL, Cooper N (2014) Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1784) : 20140298 - 20140298. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0298

Healy K, Mcnally L, Ruxton GD, Cooper N, Jackson AL (2013) Metabolic rate and body size are linked with perception of temporal information. Animal Behaviour, 86 (4) : 685 - 696. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.018

Kamilar JM, Cooper N (2013) Phylogenetic signal in primate behaviour, ecology and life history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) : 20120341 - 20120341. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0341

Cooper N (null) Phylogenetic approaches for studying competition in mammals. PhD Thesis. (Supervisor(s)) Purvis A, Jones KE.

Cooper N, Nunn CL (2013) Identifying future zoonotic disease threats: Where are the gaps in our understanding of primate infectious diseases?. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, 2013 (1) : 27 - 36. doi: 10.1093/emph/eot001

Cooper N, Griffin R, Franz M, Omotayo M, Nunn CL (2012) Phylogenetic host specificity and understanding parasite sharing in primates. Ecology Letters, 15 (12) : 1370 - 1377. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01858.x

Cooper N, Kamilar JM, Nunn CL (2012) Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals. PLoS ONE, 7 (8) : e42190 - e42190. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042190

Davies TJ, Cooper N, Diniz-filho JAF, Thomas GH, Meiri S (2012) Using phylogenetic trees to test for character displacement: a model and an example from a desert mammal community. Ecology, 93 (sp8) : S44 - S51. doi: 10.1890/11-0400.1

Collen B, Mcrae L, Deinet S, De PalmaA, Carranza T, Cooper N, Loh J, Baillie JEM (2011) Predicting how populations decline to extinction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366 (1577) : 2577 - 2586. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0015

Cooper N, Freckleton RP, Jetz W (2011) Phylogenetic conservatism of environmental niches in mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278 (1716) : 2384 - 2391. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2207

Freckleton RP, Cooper N, Jetz W (2011) Comparative Methods as a Statistical Fix: The Dangers of Ignoring an Evolutionary Model. The American Naturalist, 178 (1) : E10 - E17. doi: 10.1086/660272

Belmaker J, Cooper N, Lee TM, Wilman H (2010) Specialization and the road to academic success. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8 (10) : 514 - 515. doi: 10.1890/10.WB.25

Cooper N, Jetz W, Freckleton RP (2010) Phylogenetic comparative approaches for studying niche conservatism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23 (12) : 2529 - 2539. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02144.x

Cooper N, Purvis A (2010) Body Size Evolution in Mammals: Complexity in Tempo and Mode. The American Naturalist, 175 (6) : 727 - 738. doi: 10.1086/652466

Bielby J, Cardillo M, Cooper N, Purvis A (2010) Modelling extinction risk in multispecies data sets: phylogenetically independent contrasts versus decision trees. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19 (1) : 113 - 127. doi: 10.1007/s10531-009-9709-0

Cooper N, Belmaker J (2010) opinion: Habitat data resolution and the detection of species interactions. Frontiers of Biogeography. 2 : :

Cooper N, Purvis A (2009) What factors shape rates of phenotypic evolution? A comparative study of cranial morphology of four mammalian clades. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22 (5) : 1024 - 1035. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01714.x

Cooper N, Rodriguez J, Purvis A (2008) A common tendency for phylogenetic overdispersion in mammalian assemblages. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1646) : 2031 - 2037. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0420

Bielby J, Cooper N, Cunningham AA, Garner TWJ, Purvis A (2008) Predicting susceptibility to future declines in the world's frogs. Conservation Letters, 1 (2) : 82 - 90. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00015.x

Cooper N, Bielby J, Thomas GH, Purvis A (2008) Macroecology and extinction risk correlates of frogs. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 17 (2) : 211 - 221. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2007.00355.x

Meiri S, Cooper N, Purvis A (2008) The island rule: made to be broken?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1631) : 141 - 148. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1056

Supervision

Doctorate (PhD) Lead supervisor to Guillerme T
Macroevolution with fossil and living species
Trinity College Dublin
1/10/2012 - 18/9/2015.

Master's Lead supervisor to Finlay S
Morphological disparity in tenrecs
Trinity College Dublin
Funding: Irish Research Council

Public Engagement

Internal activities

Science Uncovered, 25/9/2015

Introduction

Summary

My research sits at the interface between macroecology and macroevolution, and aims to understand broad-scale patterns of biodiversity. I use cutting-edge phylogenetic comparative methods, morphological data collected from museum specimens, phylogenies, ecological data, species geographic range maps, fossils and various larger databases, to investigate a variety of questions including the influence of competition on macroevolutionary patterns, rates and modes of evolution, and the evolutionary ecology of zoonotic diseases. I also critique and develop phylogenetic comparative methods.

Qualifications

Degrees

PhD, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 2005 - 2009

MSc, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 2004 - 2005

BSc, University of Exeter, United Kingdom, 2001 - 2004

Employment history

Academic

Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 2012 - 2015

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, United States, 2010 - 2011

Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, United States, 2009 - 2010

Highlighted publications

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Effects of missing data on topological inference using a Total Evidence approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94 : 146 - 158. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.023

Finlay S, Cooper N (2015) Morphological diversity in tenrecs (Afrosoricida, Tenrecidae): comparing tenrec skull diversity to their closest relatives. PeerJ, 3 : e927 - e927. doi: 10.7717/peerj.927

Nunn CL, Cooper N (2015) Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT). Evolution, 69 (1) : 245 - 253. doi: 10.1111/evo.12520

Healy K, Guillerme T, Finlay S, Kane A, Kelly SBA, et al. (2014) Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1784) : 20140298 - 20140298. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0298

Healy K, Mcnally L, Ruxton GD, Cooper N, Jackson AL (2013) Metabolic rate and body size are linked with perception of temporal information. Animal Behaviour, 86 (4) : 685 - 696. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.018

Kamilar JM, Cooper N (2013) Phylogenetic signal in primate behaviour, ecology and life history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) : 20120341 - 20120341. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0341

Projects

Grants

Evolutionary Ecology and Fossil Primates
Role: Principal investigator
Funding: FP7 - People
Total value £100,000
Dates: 2012 - 2015

Professional activities

Committees

Vice chair, British Ecological Society Macroecology Special Interest Group,

Member, British Ecological Society Publications Committee,

Memberships

Member, British Ecological Society.

Member, Society of Systematic Biologists.

Editorships

Associate editor, Methods in Ecology and Evolution,

Publications

Publications

Cooper N, Thomas GH, Venditti C, Meade A, Freckleton RP (2016) A cautionary note on the use of Ornstein Uhlenbeck models in macroevolutionary studies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 118 (1) : 64 - 77. doi: 10.1111/bij.12701

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Assessment of available anatomical characters for linking living mammals to fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses. Biology Letters, 12 (5) : 20151003 - 20151003. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.1003

Guillerme T, Cooper N (2016) Effects of missing data on topological inference using a Total Evidence approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 94 : 146 - 158. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.08.023

Finlay S, Cooper N (2015) Morphological diversity in tenrecs (Afrosoricida, Tenrecidae): comparing tenrec skull diversity to their closest relatives. PeerJ, 3 : e927 - e927. doi: 10.7717/peerj.927

Nunn CL, Cooper N (2015) Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT). Evolution, 69 (1) : 245 - 253. doi: 10.1111/evo.12520

Kelly SBA, Kelly DJ, Cooper N, Bahrun A, Analuddin K, Marples NM (2014) Molecular and phenotypic data support the recognition of the Wakatobi flowerpecker (Dicaeum kuehni) from the unique and understudied Sulawesi region. PLoS ONE, 9 (6) : e98694 - e98694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098694

Cooper N, Nunn CL (null) SPELT: Species Pairs Evolutionary Lag Test (SPELT).

Healy K, Guillerme T, Finlay S, Kane A, Kelly SBA, Mcclean D, Kelly DJ, Donohue I, Jackson AL, Cooper N (2014) Ecology and mode-of-life explain lifespan variation in birds and mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1784) : 20140298 - 20140298. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0298

Healy K, Mcnally L, Ruxton GD, Cooper N, Jackson AL (2013) Metabolic rate and body size are linked with perception of temporal information. Animal Behaviour, 86 (4) : 685 - 696. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.06.018

Kamilar JM, Cooper N (2013) Phylogenetic signal in primate behaviour, ecology and life history. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368 (1618) : 20120341 - 20120341. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0341

Cooper N (null) Phylogenetic approaches for studying competition in mammals. PhD Thesis. (Supervisor(s)) Purvis A, Jones KE.

Cooper N, Nunn CL (2013) Identifying future zoonotic disease threats: Where are the gaps in our understanding of primate infectious diseases?. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, 2013 (1) : 27 - 36. doi: 10.1093/emph/eot001

Cooper N, Griffin R, Franz M, Omotayo M, Nunn CL (2012) Phylogenetic host specificity and understanding parasite sharing in primates. Ecology Letters, 15 (12) : 1370 - 1377. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01858.x

Cooper N, Kamilar JM, Nunn CL (2012) Host Longevity and Parasite Species Richness in Mammals. PLoS ONE, 7 (8) : e42190 - e42190. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042190

Davies TJ, Cooper N, Diniz-filho JAF, Thomas GH, Meiri S (2012) Using phylogenetic trees to test for character displacement: a model and an example from a desert mammal community. Ecology, 93 (sp8) : S44 - S51. doi: 10.1890/11-0400.1

Collen B, Mcrae L, Deinet S, De PalmaA, Carranza T, Cooper N, Loh J, Baillie JEM (2011) Predicting how populations decline to extinction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 366 (1577) : 2577 - 2586. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0015

Cooper N, Freckleton RP, Jetz W (2011) Phylogenetic conservatism of environmental niches in mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278 (1716) : 2384 - 2391. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2207

Freckleton RP, Cooper N, Jetz W (2011) Comparative Methods as a Statistical Fix: The Dangers of Ignoring an Evolutionary Model. The American Naturalist, 178 (1) : E10 - E17. doi: 10.1086/660272

Belmaker J, Cooper N, Lee TM, Wilman H (2010) Specialization and the road to academic success. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8 (10) : 514 - 515. doi: 10.1890/10.WB.25

Cooper N, Jetz W, Freckleton RP (2010) Phylogenetic comparative approaches for studying niche conservatism. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23 (12) : 2529 - 2539. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02144.x

Cooper N, Purvis A (2010) Body Size Evolution in Mammals: Complexity in Tempo and Mode. The American Naturalist, 175 (6) : 727 - 738. doi: 10.1086/652466

Bielby J, Cardillo M, Cooper N, Purvis A (2010) Modelling extinction risk in multispecies data sets: phylogenetically independent contrasts versus decision trees. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19 (1) : 113 - 127. doi: 10.1007/s10531-009-9709-0

Cooper N, Belmaker J (2010) opinion: Habitat data resolution and the detection of species interactions. Frontiers of Biogeography. 2 : :

Cooper N, Purvis A (2009) What factors shape rates of phenotypic evolution? A comparative study of cranial morphology of four mammalian clades. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22 (5) : 1024 - 1035. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01714.x

Cooper N, Rodriguez J, Purvis A (2008) A common tendency for phylogenetic overdispersion in mammalian assemblages. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1646) : 2031 - 2037. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.0420

Bielby J, Cooper N, Cunningham AA, Garner TWJ, Purvis A (2008) Predicting susceptibility to future declines in the world's frogs. Conservation Letters, 1 (2) : 82 - 90. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2008.00015.x

Cooper N, Bielby J, Thomas GH, Purvis A (2008) Macroecology and extinction risk correlates of frogs. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 17 (2) : 211 - 221. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2007.00355.x

Meiri S, Cooper N, Purvis A (2008) The island rule: made to be broken?. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1631) : 141 - 148. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1056

Teaching and students

Supervision

Doctorate (PhD) Lead supervisor to Guillerme T
Macroevolution with fossil and living species
Trinity College Dublin
1/10/2012 - 18/9/2015.

Master's Lead supervisor to Finlay S
Morphological disparity in tenrecs
Trinity College Dublin
Funding: Irish Research Council

Impact and outreach

Public Engagement

Internal activities

Science Uncovered, 25/9/2015