Ecology Across Scales
from Individuals to Populations to Communities
Species are highly heterogeneous entities comprised of individuals that vary in their responses to ecological situations as a result of demographic or adaptive processes. While behavioral ecologists have
recently shifted from emphasizing grand mean population trends to considering the adaptive potential of
variation around the mean, spatial ecology largely has not. Individual differences in space use is an on-going research area of mine.
Environmental heterogeneity and context dependence are
ubiquitous concepts that link phenotypic expressions to the environment. For a given phenotype, particular spatial and social environments may be optimal. Subsequently, phenotypes link environmental processes with fitness and population dynamics, which is largely neglected in broad scale ecological modeling. I aim to explore the consequences of phenotypic composition for population dynamics.
Variation in population structure and dynamics ultimately can influence community interactions. In predicting facets of biodiversity, whether species richness, genetic, or functional diversity, it is necessary to understand species-environment relationships and how they might change under land use or climate change in the future.