James Sinclair


Research Interests

The success or failure of a new population is strongly influenced by the properties of its colonists. The quantity of colonists, their genetic diversity, how frequently they arrive, and their physiological condition upon arrival can all individually affect the probability of population success. However, we do not understand the relative importance of each of these factors, nor the circumstances under which their relative importance can change. I use field mesocosm experiments and natural zooplankton communities to disentangle the relative importance of colonist quantity, quality, diversity, and arrival frequency to population success, and to investigate how these four factors interact. My work is applicable to any field interested in the colonization process (e.g. dispersal or range expansion), or for practical interests in how best to promote, or prevent, the success of small populations, such as for biocontrol, invasive species, community restoration, and the recovery of declining or extant species.


Sinclair JS, Arnott SE (2015) Effects of an invasive consumer on zooplankton communities are unaltered by nutrient inputs. Freshwater Biol 60:161–173. doi: 10.1111/fwb.12482

Sinclair JS, Furlanetto KJ, Arnott SE (2015) Dispersal acts as both bane and balm for invaded zooplankton communities. J Plankton Res 37:462–471. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbv007

Sinclair JS, Arnott SE, Cox A (2015) The quick and the dead: copepods dominate as cladocerans decline following invasion by Hemimysis anomala. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 73:793–803. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0111

Sinclair JS, Arnott SE (2016) Strength in size not numbers: propagule size more important than number in sexually reproducing populations. Biol Invasions 18:497–505. doi: 10.1007/s10530-015-1022-0