Our research addresses fundamental questions of biodiversity in a changing world and integrates species’ traits, coexistence mechanisms and global change science. We develop and test theory but also apply theory to predict the impacts of global change on biodiversity. Research projects broadly address three integrated themes:
1. Niche Dimensionality: using complex systems ideas to test the interactions between multiple limiting factors and how they constrain organismal fitness and contribute to species coexistence.
2. Species Traits and Tradeoffs: linking quantitative functional traits and physiological tradeoffs to mechanisms of species coexistence.
3. Global Change and Global Ecological Networks: synthesizing global changes in multiple limiting factors to predict species loss; building global ecological networks to address global environmental challenges.
The tools we use include mathematical models, microcosm experiments, greenhouse and field experiments with terrestrial plants, and lab-based nutrient and molecular analysis.