Alex Pigot

Alex Pigot

VENI Fellow / Research Associate


I studied Geography at University College London and a PhD at Silwood Park (Imperial College). In 2011 I joined the EGI as a postdoctoral researcher with Joseph Tobias and Nathalie Seddon. Since 2014 I have been a Veni Research Fellow at the University of Groningen with Rampal Etienne, but remain a visiting researcher in the Department of Zoology, Oxford.

Research Activities

My research focusses on understanding the processes generating broad-scale patterns of species diversity, and in particular why species richness varies so dramatically across the surface of the Earth and between different organism groups. To do this I integrate data on species geographic distributions and molecular phylogenetic relationships. I am increasingly interested in understanding the consequences of environmental change on biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems.

Selected Publications

Pigot, A.L., Etienne, R.S. (2015) A new dynamic null model for phylogenetic community structure. Ecology Letters. 18: 153-163

Pigot, A.L., Tobias, J.A. (2015) Dispersal and the transition to sympatry in vertebrates. Proc-Roy-Soc.B. 282: 1929

Pigot, A.L., Tobias, J.A. (2013) Species interactions constrain geographic range expansion over evolutionary time. Ecology Letters. 16: 330-338

Pigot, A.L., Owens, I.P.F., Orme, C.D.L. (2012) Speciation and extinction drive the appearance of directional range size evolution in phylogenies and the fossil record. PLoSBiol. 10.

Pigot AL, Owens IPF, Orme CDL (2010) The environmental limits to geographic range expansion in birds. Ecology Letters 13: 705-715. | Read abstract/paper online

Pigot AL, Phillimore AB, Owens I, Orme CDL (2010) The shape and temporal dynamics of phylogenetic trees arising from geographic speciation. Systematic Biology 59: 660-673. | Read abstract/paper online

Pigot, A.L., Leather, S.R. (2008) Invertebrate predators drive distance-dependent patterns of seedling mortality in a temperate tree Acer pseudoplatanus. Oikos 117: 521-530. | Read abstract/paper online

Reinecke, M. K. Pigot, A.L. and King, J. M. (2008) Spontaneous succession of riparian fynbos: Is unassisted recovery a viable restoration strategy? South African Journal of Botany74: 412-420. | Read abstract/paper online