Biological Sciences, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Applications in Life Sciences
My research is focused on ecological forecasting–predicting how organisms and biodiversity will respond to environmental change. In particular, I seek to understand why organisms have responded individualistically to past climate changes and to develop capacity to predict these non-uniform responses. I integrate modeling, field and lab collection of ecological and physiological data, and ecoinformatics to examine how biology (morphology, physiology, and life history) determines an organism’s response. One focus is developing mechanistic models of species distributions that scale from individual foraging energetics to population and community dynamics. Ongoing research is considering the range implications of geographic trait variation, evolution, and biotic constraints and field testing models on insects and lizards.
One research project, in collaboration with eScience, is focused on developing computational and visualization tools for translating climate change into biological impacts. The project uses heat and energy budget models to make environmental data collected at coarse spatial and temporal scales relevant to organisms that are responding to thermal stress at scales of minutes and meters.