I am an ecologist interested in the forces that maintain biological diversity in nature – and the cases in which those forces break down (e.g. invasive species causing extinctions). Accelerating rates of biodiversity loss due to human activity make understanding these processes all the more critical.
I am interested in the intersection of predation, competition, dispersal, and invasion – as well as the role of random chance – in determining biological diversity, primarily in extreme environments. I have published research on the diversity and dynamics of viruses, bacteria, microscopic animals such as rotifers and tardigrades, and pocket mice, bunchgrasses, and trees. See my Google Scholar page for my most up-to-date list of publications.
The invisible microscopic world has a wealth of things to teach us about the forces of biological diversity, and microscopic life in extreme environments have incredible “superpowers” to explore – although they are real and explainable by science! They may also teach us about the potential for life on other worlds.
I enjoy exploring and adventuring outdoors, from rock climbing to mountain biking to skiing. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and excitement of science and the outdoors with others, especially kids.