Research

Research Interests

I am interested in the structure and function of ecological communities and how they are influenced by the structure of their habitat. I work primarily on freshwater ecosystems and use field surveys and experiments to answer questions relevant to habitat conservation. For my M.Sc thesis I studied how invertebrate communities in headwater streams are influenced by the topography of the stream banks and watershed. For my Ph.D thesis I studied invertebrate communities in the phytotelmata of bromeliads in the neotropics. My experiments explored how the structure and function of the aquatic communities in bromeliads are affected by habitat structure at several spatial scales from individual patches, to metacommunities, to regional variation. In the future I hope to continue exploring these questions in new systems including temperate freshwater ponds and streams, and experimental mesocosms. A better understanding of how communities are structured by their environments will improve our ability to conserve ecosystems in the face of a changing environment.