My research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of interactions among organisms. My work centers on how multi-species systems function and on evaluating methods that might predict how such systems will respond to environmental change, particularly in regard to species extincti...
My research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of interactions among organisms. My work centers on how multi-species systems function and on evaluating methods that might predict how such systems will respond to environmental change, particularly in regard to species extinctions and introductions. I am also interested in related areas in evolutionary ecology. I work in several different systems, and study a range of taxa. marine lifeMy general approach tests questions or models of broad theoretical interest, using field experiments, observations of large-scale species introductions, and between-system comparisons. Currently, my research focuses on rocky intertidal marine communities and rivers, which serve as model experimental systems for ecology.
Specific research includes: 1) Developing and testing dynamic models of food webs that synthesize species interactions, productivity rates and disturbance regime. 2) Identifying observational and experimental approaches that predict the strength of species interactions in natural communities. 3) Testing forest simulator-type models in experimentally-tractable intertidal systems. 4) Exploring experimentally the importance of genetic and demographic factors on extinction risk in small populations. 5) Studying whole-ecosystem response to large-scale management programs derived by focusing on single species, particularly in salmon-bearing rivers of western North America. 6) Documenting changes in ocean pH through time (ocean acidification) and revealing its effects in complex coastal ecosystems. 7) Investigating character displacement in competing species following the invasion of house finches across the eastern U.S.
I expect my students to develop a broad perspective on ecology and evolution, to engage in research rooted solidly in empiricism but with an eye toward its wider theoretical and practical implications, and to maintain a healthy knowledge of natural history. I particularly encourage applications from students with interests in marine or aquatic ecology.