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Luke Christopher Evans

Areas of interest

In my research I work predominantly with insects, and I attempt to use ecological theory and large-scale observational data to understand the relationships between insect abundance, diversity, and ecosystem function. I am a member of the Social and Applied Ecology research group at Reading where I am currently a post-doctoral researcher on the DRUID project (Drivers and Repercussions of Insect Declines) assessing the impact of UK insect declines on ecosystem function. I am also interested in understanding population and community responses to climate change, environmental disturbance, and extreme weather.


  • Quantitative ecology
  • Ecological modelling
  • Bayesian statistical approaches
  • Programming languages: R, Julia, stan, python  
  • Agent-based modelling


I completed a PhD at Reading in 2019. The project focussed on developing agent-based models to explore butterfly movement behaviour.

Awards and honours

I co-organised the 2022 BES symposium: Climate Science for Ecological Forecasting and a workshop at the 2017 BES conference on constructing and calibrating agent-based models. I have won an award for best talk at the 2018 Syngenta Biological Sciences Collaboration review conference, and I was part of a team that placed 2nd in the NERC digital spring hackathon (2019). I was a scientific presenter at Animals on the Move 2020 public outreach event and I have been invited to teach short-courses and modules on R programming and statistics. 

Selected publications

  • Bearman-Brown, Lucy E, Philip J Baker, Dawn Scott, Antonio Uzal, Luke Evans, and Richard W Yarnell. “Over-Winter Survival and Nest Site Selection of the West-European Hedgehog (Erinaceus Europaeus) in Arable Dominated Landscapes.” Animals 10, no. 9 (2020): 1449.
  • Bearman-Brown, Lucy E, Louise E Wilson, Luke C Evans, and Philip J Baker. “Comparing Non-Invasive Surveying Techniques for Elusive, Nocturnal Mammals: A Case Study of the West European Hedgehog (Erinaceus Europaeus).” Journal of Vertebrate Biology 69, no. 3 (2020): 20075–1.
  • Boult, Victoria L, and Luke C Evans. “Mechanisms Matter: Predicting the Ecological Impacts of Global Change.” Global Change Biology 27, no. 9 (2021): 1689–91.
  • Evans, Luke C, Richard M Sibly, Pernille Thorbek, Ian Sims, Tom H Oliver, and Richard J Walters. “Behavior Underpins the Predictive Power of a Traitbased Model of Butterfly Movement.” Ecology and Evolution 10, no. 7 (2020): 3200–3208.
  • Evans, Luke C, Richard M Sibly, Pernille Thorbek, Ian Sims, Tom H Oliver, and Richard J Walters. “Integrating the Influence of Weather into Mechanistic Models of Butterfly Movement.” Movement Ecology 7, no. 1 (2019): 1–10.
  • Evans, Luke C, Richard M Sibly, Pernille Thorbek, Ian Sims, Tom H Oliver, and Richard J Walters. “Quantifying the Effectiveness of Agri-Environment Schemes for a Grassland Butterfly Using Individual-Based Models.” Ecological Modelling 411 (2019): 108798.
  • Evans, Luke C, Richard M Sibly, Pernille Thorbek, Ian Sims, Tom H Oliver, and Richard J Walters. “The Importance of Including Habitat-Specific Behaviour in Models of Butterfly Movement.” Oecologia 193, no. 2 (2020): 249–59.
  • Evans, Luke C, Ian Sims, Richard M Sibly, Pernille Thorbek, Tom H Oliver, and Richard J Walters. “Data on the Movement Behaviour of Four Species of Grassland Butterfly.” Data in Brief 27 (2019): 104611.
  • Evans, Luke Christopher, Yolanda Melero, Reto Schmucki, Philipp H Boersch‐Supan, Lluís Brotons, Colin Fontaine, Frédéric Jiguet, Mikko Kuussaari, Dario Massimino, and Robert A Robinson. “Bioclimatic Context of Species’ Populations Determines Community Stability.” Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2022.
  • Evans, Luke Christopher, Tom Henry Oliver, Ian Sims, Matthew Peter Greenwell, Yolanda Melero, Arron Watson, Felix Townsend, and Richard John Walters. “Behavioural Modes in Butterflies: Their Implications for Movement and Searching Behaviour.” Animal Behaviour 169 (2020): 23–33.
  • Greenwell, Matthew P, Marc S Botham, Michael W Bruford, John C Day, Luke C Evans, Melanie Gibbs, Ian Middlebrook, David B Roy, Kevin Watts, and Tom H Oliver. “The Influence of Chalk Grasslands on Butterfly Phenology and Ecology.” Ecology and Evolution 11, no. 21 (2021): 14521–39.
  • Johnson, Thomas F, Lisbeth A Hordley, Matthew P Greenwell, and Luke C Evans. “Associations between COVID-19 Transmission Rates, Park Use, and Landscape Structure.” Science of The Total Environment 789 (2021): 148123.
  • Johnston, Alice SA, Rob J Boyd, Joseph W Watson, Ayla Paul, Luke Christopher Evans, EL Gardner, and VL Boult. “Predicting Population Responses to Environmental Change from Individual-Level Mechanisms: Towards a Standardized Mechanistic Approach.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286, no. 1913 (2019): 20191916.
  • Livraghi, Luca, Raluca Vodă, Luke Christopher Evans, Melanie Gibbs, Vlad Dincă, Peter WH Holland, Tim G Shreeve, Roger Vila, Leonardo Dapporto, and Casper J Breuker. “Historical and Current Patterns of Gene Flow in the Butterfly Pararge Aegeria.” Journal of Biogeography 45, no. 7 (2018): 1628–39.
  • Longdon, Ben, Jonathan P Day, Nora Schulz, Philip T Leftwich, Maaike A de Jong, Casper J Breuker, Melanie Gibbs, Darren J Obbard, Lena Wilfert, and Sophia CL Smith. “Vertically Transmitted Rhabdoviruses Are Found across Three Insect Families and Have Dynamic Interactions with Their Hosts.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284, no. 1847 (2017): 20162381.
  • Melero, Yolanda, Luke C Evans, Mikko Kuussaari, Reto Schmucki, Constantí Stefanescu, David B Roy, and Tom H Oliver. “Local Adaptation to Climate Anomalies Relates to Species Phylogeny.” Communications Biology 5, no. 1 (2022): 1–9.
  • Senior, Vicki L, Luke C Evans, Simon R Leather, Tom H Oliver, and Karl L Evans. “Phenological Responses in a Sycamore–Aphid–Parasitoid System and Consequences for Aphid Population Dynamics: A 20 Year Case Study.” Global Change Biology 26, no. 5 (2020): 2814–28.



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