Rapid evolution is now a part of fundamental considerations in conservation strategies. Accordingly, as the results of our research provide new insights into how species respond to ecological change, they provide a stronger scientific foundation for effective conservation. My work has become quite visible nationally and internationally.
impact statement issue
As part of natural systems, humans benefit from understanding evolutionary responses to environmental change in order to predict and respond to current and future changes. We use plankton from lakes to show how organisms are impacted by and respond to natural and human-caused changes in their environments.
impact statement response
My group studies ecological and evolutionary response by hatching long-lived, dormant plankton eggs, and studying how their characteristics have changed over the course of decades. Our research has shown that rapid evolutionary change in growth physiology explains a substantial fraction of change in Daphnia population dynamics. In the laboratory we study evolutionary responses to changes in ecological interactions and how that evolution alters the strengths of ecological interactions.
impact statement summary
Environmental change affects all organisms either directly by physiological effects or indirectly by influencing the organisms with which they interact. My work investigates how ecological interactions are altered, and how organisms evolve in response to these changes. The objective is to understand the trajectory and rate of these responses.