Samuel Hodges


I am a PhD student working in the School of Earth and Environment and the School of Biological Sciences, my employment is also shared between the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the University of Leeds. I am currently working on the Radar Entomology and Aeroecology of the United Kingdom through the NERC funded BIOCAST project and its parent project, BioDAR. This will be carried out by integrating data from Dual-Polarisation X-band weather RADAR data, field observations of insects from the Rothamsted Insect Survey (RIS) and other UK field campaigns, and finally atmospheric physics models such as the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS). An integrated analysis of these three data types will allow us to establish known patterns of bioscatterers, allowing us to predict spatial patterns of insects above surface level, and understand how regional weather impacts on seasonal dispersal.

I have been involved in a range of projects, including developing Phylogenetic Congruence Indices at undergraduate level. During my MRes I assessed possible future population declines in coastal ectotherms under climate change: this was done using a synthesis of CMIP6 data, laboratory thermotolerance experiments, an organism heat-exchange model and a Temperature-Mortality model. Finally I have been published as first author on a paper modelling the dynamic winter foraging zones and habitat selection of the Auk populations of Hornøya (Barents Sea). These disparate projects have taught me about the importance of integrating data and analysis techniques across multiple disciplines and I hope to expand on this with my latest project, which integrates physical models more explicitly than in my previous work.

Research interests

  • Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) through MaxENT and dismo.
  • Atmospheric modelling of Troposphere wind currents and precipitation.
  • Characterising range use in biological populations and its variation over time, with remote-sensing, SDMs and field studies.
  • Evolutionary Ecology under changing climate.
  • (Predicting the foraging patterns of wintering Auks using a sea surface temperature model for the Barents Sea)


  • MRes Marine Biology, University of Plymouth (2021/2022, TBC)
  • BSc Biology, University of Bath 2014-2018

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science