Mission: Evaluate how resource landscapes affect community formation and subsequent interactions, with a particular focus on shifting resource availability and use due to environmental change and organismal development, respectively.
Keywords: complexity, biodiversity, resources, interactions, community assembly, recruitment, ecological perturbation, species addition/loss, extinction, invasion, life history, ontogeny, complex development, niche, structural refuge, size refuge
I see the whole world as a slew of resources mediating a complex array of interacting communities. I am fascinated by the way organisms use the resources around them, and how perturbations alter resource availability, allocation, and partitioning. Resources - food, shelter, mates, etc - drive most ecological patterns, and global change is constantly rearranging patterns of resource use and thus community dynamics. I am as interested in resources as the source of variable interactions as I am in the interactions themselves, and I am especially interested in the ecology of empty niches, or how extinctions and invasions open novel resources that act as an “evolutionary carrot on a stick”.
I use environmental change, species invasions, and resource shifts accompanying organismal development as model systems for studying shifting resource landscapes across global to organismal spatial scales. I most often focus on marine, amphibian, and insect study systems because I'm intrigued by niche shifts that accompany growth and development. When studying ecological perturbations, I hope to determine some of the carry-over effects of species with multiple distinct life phases (complex ontogeny) as they shift between habitats and resources. My research utilizes a resource-driven perspective to investigate how ecological systems are responding to human-mediated global change.
|Moving mangroves shift resource landscapes|
|Coqui exclosure on a native ohia tree.|
|Differences in use of historic and novel habitats (from Johnston & Lipcius 2012)|