1 University Station C0930
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas 78712-0253 USA
Upcoming Events: Organized Oral Session on the Consequences of Dispersal and Colonization: What Happens when Communities are Opened? scheduled for the 90th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, August 7-12, 2005 in Montreal, Quebec.
I am generally interested in how interactions between species alter species diversity and composition within and between communities. Thus far, my work has focused on interactions between two species to evaluate patterns of habitat selection and co-occurrence; the role of key species in shaping the attributes of communities; as well as how the distribution of habitats affects local and regional patterns of diversity.
I would like to better extend these ideas to a conservation framework for either maintenence or restoration practices. Additionally, I am interested in moving my research in a new direction to investigate how population dynamics and species diversity influence disease transmission and persistence within communities.
I prefer to use a combination of techniques to answer questions regarding the formation and maintenance of species diversity in ecological communities, including:
As a scientific endeavor, community ecology differs from other areas in ecology by asking questions concerning the number species found within an area. How many species are found here? How many individuals (i.e., abundance) of each species occur at this location? What biological or non-biological factors control the number of species in this area? Which species interact and which do not? What is the outcome of these interactions?
My long-term research and career goals fall within this realm of questioning and include understanding and reducing the impacts of invasive species, habitat fragmentation, and habitat loss on biodiversity and community composition. Right now, however, the theme of my dissertation research focuses on determining how the process of dispersal influences species diversity and composition within habitats and how this translates to changes in species diversity and composition across habitats.
|Sirena Biological Station, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: Lost years ago during the filming of the movie "Congo", my field assistants and I recovered this piece of movie trivia from the primary forest surrounding the station. Here, you can see a reenactment of the find. (In the movie, it is the first cargo box dropped from the plane flying over the "Congo".)|