So many insects, so little time! I began my career studying the community assembly of caddisflies that filter streamwater with beautiful silken catchnets. Lately, I've been interested in messing up the sex life of European Corn Borers to slow the evolution of resistance to genetically engineered insecticidal crops.
The more I learn, the more I'm blown away by the diversity and adaptability of songbirds. I study these backyard marvels and their evolutionary history—where they came from and why they still come to my bird feeder.
Who wouldn’t want to study something called the “cocktail party problem” in animals? It’s all about animal communication and how they adapt to situations where there’s VERY LOUD NOISE (think croaking frogs).
Oh sure, fertilizers make your grass nice and green, and farmers love what it does to their corn crop, but these extra nutrients can also change the chemistry of plants which changes the diseases and animals that feed on them. I study these effects around the country and the world.
Borer and Eric Seabloom coordinate global grassland experiments through their Nutrient Network.
We know that climate change affects plants but we don’t know exactly how, especially with trees that live a long time. So we’re manipulating the weather to study how they respond. And did I mention we’re in a Central American tropical forest?
Droughts and floods, pipes and pavement; all affect how and when water moves through landscapes, what the water carries with it, and ultimately how aquatic ecosystems work and what they look like. My lab studies the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and their interaction with surrounding natural and human-altered landscapes.
As director of the University's Institute on the Environment, I think big picture—human's impact on ecosystems, the effects of climate change and how agricultural practices designed to feed a hungry planet affect other species and our own well-being.
Ever wonder how washing the dishes, mowing the lawn or watching TV affects the environment? I study carbon and nutrient cycling—like how ordinary household activities contribute to pollution and how we can adapt our practices to live sustainably.
I am interested in mammalian evolution. My research focuses on the systematics and biogeography of South American marsupials and on the rodents of Madagascar and the Philippines. I use molecular data to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among species, and I use the resulting phylogenies to better understand the forces influencing diversification.
Since an early age, I've been fascinated by disease, particularly crazy-scary diseases like anthrax. I'm now a historian—and a licensed veterinarian—who focuses on the history of crazy-scary diseases in science, medicine and human-animal interactions.
I’ve always been interested in the birds - their amazing vocalizations, bizarre behaviors, and complex plumage patterns. My research examines the evolutionary relationships of bird species, genera and families in order to shed light on the origin of this morphological and behavioral diversity.
Hands down, lions are the coolest, baddest, most charismatic animals on the planet. But for all their so-called ferociousness, their existence is in peril. I study lion's evolutionary traits and complex social structure—and work with the people of Africa— to ensure their survival.
Grasslands today are threatened by human land-use decisions and invasive species. My research takes me around the country to study the effects of invasion and disease on grasslands, and I help coordinate a global network of grassland experiments.
Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer coordinate global grassland experiments through their Nutrient Network.
Prairielands are an excellent environment to study evolutionary genetics. Specifically, I look at evolutionary processes that influence plants growing in fragmented habitat. Central to our research are long-term genetic experiments, which we maintain in a giant garden in the midst of remnant prairie.
Bugs are awesome – we have so much to learn from them! I study how animals deal with new and changing environments whether through learning or flexible development. Using butterflies and beetles for inspiration, I ask questions such as 'why are some animals so smart?’
I study the impact of human consumption and population pressure on the planet's ecosystems and the effects of climate change and habitat destruction. Big, heavy stuff, and my students are making a big, heavy difference.
My research addresses the enormous issue of understanding how life forms have come to exist. To do that, you need to understand what causes biological diversity and complexity, starting with very simple biological systems.
I study chimpanzees in Africa. I'm especially interested in what we can learn about human evolution from studying the behavior and ecology of our closest living relatives. My research focuses on aggression, territorial behavior, and the origins of war. I also work on related topics, including communication and disease ecology.
I study the evolution of bird populations through DNA sequencing. Although lab work isn't always pure fun, the result—the blueprint of heredity, a DNA sequence and the possibility of helping to save a species—is absolutely awe inspiring.
What makes males and females different? I study the evolution of mate choice and sexual signals, and am also interested in how behavior can shape the rate of evolution. Most of my work is on insects, but I’ve also studied crustaceans and birds.
How did and does cooperation evolve? What about aging? What are the implications for sustainable agriculture and human health? Because my few students mostly work with short-generation species (plants and microbes) under controlled conditions, they have made substantial progress towards answering such questions.
Research interests: Quaternary paleoecology; history of forest communities; past changes in geographical distributions of forest species; effects of soil development on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; earth system science and past and future global change.
My research addresses fundamental questions regarding the evolution and ecology of natural host-parasite relationships, with the ultimate goal of identifying how such relationships influence the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits and behaviors. With Dr. Marlene Zuk, I am studying the rapid evolution of a call-less male morph in a cricket (Teleogryllus oceanicus) in response to an acoustically orienting parasitoid (Ormia ochracea).
As a plant ecologist, my general research aim is to gain a greater understanding of the causal mechanisms responsible for the loss of plant diversity and its impact on ecosystem functioning. In this context, I joined the Seabloom group to complete the two first years of a 3-year EU grant, the Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship. In my project, I use a globally replicated experiment network - Nutrient Network - manipulating three key nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) to gain a general understanding of the causal mechanisms responsible for the decrease in plant diversity with fertilization. I also investigate the generality of these mechanisms, their relative importance and potential impact on ecosystem functions and services.
People influence nature and depend on nature. My postdoctoral research with Dave Tilman and Steve Polasky considers how human influences on nature could change the extent to which the nature provides services for people.
In my research I combine phylogenetic analytical techniques and field experiments to explore the influence of evolution and anthropogenic change on contemporary ecological communities. I have specific interests in moth caterpillars, insect stoichiometry, and management and analysis of large ecological datasets.
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota working with Dr. JeannineCavender-Bares. We are using oak common gardens, herbarium collections and fieldmeasurements to investigate the evolution of drought tolerance (and suites of additional traits)across the diverse New World oak phylogeny. I’ve trained as a plant ecologist (University of Vermont). I am interested in investigating fundamental ecological processes driving species success and providing practical applications for species management. My research uses field surveys, manipulative experiments,empirically-derived parameters for models and field testing to validate species spread models. I have a particularly strong interest in populations out of control (too few or too many) and have conducted demographic studies in rare plant systems (Panax quinquefolius) and invasive plant systems, such as Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) and Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven). The majority of my research has been characterizing species habitat patterns and the underlying mechanisms that determine species abundance and spread. My PhD research delved into trait variation found between introduced and native populations.
Areas of interest: ecology, trait variation, invasive species, population biology, dispersal, cellular automata, environmental science, remote sensing, GIS, environmental policy, botany.
I am a postdoc in Mike Travisano's lab. We use experimental evolution to explore the origin of multicellularity, the evolution of aging, and the benefits of sex. I am also interested in the evolution of bacterial dormancy, disentangling individual and kin-selection, and the evolution of communication among microbes.