My interests are broad but mainly focus on the ecological and evolutionary factors that determine the structure and dynamics of communities and ecosystem functioning. In my research I combine theoretical and empirical work to develop predictive frameworks for understanding how species interactions and abiotic environmental factors determine the structure and dynamics of communities and how they drive population dynamics and the evolution of complex life histories. Most of my current research focuses on the impact of population size structure, cannibalism and seasonal variation (including climate change) on the structure and dynamics of communities and their evolutionary consequences.This research partly overlaps with my work on the role of infectious diseases in determining the dynamics and structure of populations and communities. Most of my empirical research has been on aquatic systems, including phytotelmata, temporary and permanent ponds and headwater streams, using amphibian and invertebrates as model systems. Currently, I am working in local pond ecosystems in Texas, but my past research was conducted in the tropics in Ivory Coast, West Africa & in the Southern Appalachian.
Community ecology; evolutionary biology; cannibalism; phenology; climate change
B.S. Biology (2000) University of Regensburg; M.S. Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology (2003) Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg; Ph.D. (2007) Ecology & Evolution, University of Virginia