Biodiversity scientist, macroecologist, and postdoctoral fellow in Jay Lennon’s microbial ecology lab in the biology dept. at Indiana University, Bloomington. My science intersects three areas of biodiversity:
1.) Unifying patterns with constraint-based theory–I often ask whether intensively studied and seemingly universal patterns of abundance, distribution, and diversity are mathematically constrained to be statistically inevitable and highly predictable. I also ask whether patterns of commonness and rarity are unified among all organisms, from bacteria and archaea to macroscopic plants and animals.
2.) Understanding master variables and primary drivers–Most recently, I have focused on the importance of ecosystem residence time in driving the assembly and structure of ecological communities. Put simply, the time individuals spend in a system (residence time) should constrain the structure and assembly of ecological systems (like communities). But how?
3.) Long-term ecological surveys–co-PI on The Peloncillo Project: A long-term survey of a Sky-Island mountain range. This year (2015) I celebrated my 10th consecutive year of field work in the Madrean Sky-Islands. Building from 21 yrs of mark-recapture data, we formalized the PP in 2013 to expand and formalize our role and commitment to the gathering of baseline biodiversity data, conservation and stewardship of the Sky-Islands, and to the increasingly diverse basic science being undertaken by undergrads, grad students, and academic scientists.