Biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate. This makes it imperative to understand the mechanisms maintaining population persistence and species coexistence. I investigate coexistence mechanisms in both antagonistic (e.g. predator- prey, host-parasitoid) and mutualistic (e.g. plant-pollinator/seed disperser) communities. I study a host-multiparasitoid community in the coastal sage scrub in Santa Barbara Co., California, and develop a theoretical framework for investigating the assembly and persistence of mutualistic communities. I also work on a waterbird conservation project in Kenya.
Host-Parasitoid Interactions in Santa Barbara Co., CA
I investigate coexistence mechanisms in a natural host- parasitoid insect community. I first use a model parametrized with data from laboratory experiments to predict the host species’ population dynamics in a constant environment. I then quantify the temperature responses of life history traits and use an automated video system to investigate the host-parasitoid interactions. This research has implications for the conservation of biodiversity and biological control of agricultural and invasive pest species.
Assembly and Persistence of Mutualistic Communities
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