Large-scale ecological and evolutionary processes, development of quantitative tools for the study of biodiversity
Work in my lab seeks to build quantitative tools to understand universal processes in evolution and ecology and help provide a foundation for understanding how global change might drive future shifts in the diversity of life. Recent insights from ecological theory have revealed the importance of chance and statistical mechanisms in ubiquitous biodiversity patterns, such as the characteristic distribution of individuals across species or species across space. Advances in next generation sequencing have unlocked huge potential to gather the data we have sought for over 20 years to address large-scale questions. Thus, my lab seeks to understand general biodiversity phenomena through the dual lenses of combining simple insight inspired by the statistical behavior of large systems and the unique non-equilibrium dynamics imparted to biological systems by their evolutionary history. We aim to leverage and contribute to the ongoing revolution in eco-evolutionary data generation to do this. We maintain three major research areas: i) building eco-evolutionary theories of biodiversity; ii) testing theoretical predictions with next-generation-enabled data from systems undergoing novel evolutionary trajectories; and iii) developing robust software tools to make these approaches accessible to the general scientific community.