We combine mathematical models, simulations, and data set analysis to address fundamental and applied questions in ecology. Our approach is synthetic, interdisciplinary, and eminently collaborative.
Our current major research interest focuses on networks of ecological interactions. Our goal is twofold: to describe the structure of these networks, and to relate this structure to their persistence and coevolution [e.g., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100 (2003): 9383-9387; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102 (2005): 5443-5447; Science 312 (2006): 431-433; Nature 448 (2007): 925-928].
A second major interest deals with the spatial dimension of population and community dynamics. For example, We have studied how the coexistence of competitors and natural enemies is enhanced by spatial heterogeneity arising from the interaction between local dynamics and short-range dispersal [e.g., Trends Ecol. Evol. 10 (1995): 361-366 ].
We use novel approximations derived from our basic research to attempt to answer unresolved questions in conservation biology. For example, how much habitat should be preserved, or how many patches are necessary for the persistence of a metapopulation [e.g., J. Anim. Ecol. 65 (1996): 465-473; Am. Nat. 159 (2002): 128-137].