RESEARCH

Although I have interests in all areas of ecology and evolution, research in my lab primarily centers on the interactions between plants, herbivores and their natural enemies in spatially heterogeneous landscapes. In particular, I am interested in how habitat fragmentation and features of the landscape influence the movement behavior, spatial distributions, and temporal dynamics of herbivore and natural enemy populations. My research in this area has led to important insights regarding predator foraging theory, the stability and persistence of predator-prey interactions, and the development of effective corridors for threatened and endangered species.

Current Research Projects

parasitoid mudflat edge grid

Density-Dependent Dispersal and Predator-Prey Population Dynamics

This collaborative NSF-funded project involving mathematicians at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Auburn University at Montgomery explores the effects of habitat fragmentation, conditional dispersal, predation, and interspecific competition on herbivore population dynamics from the patch level to the landscape level.   Read more 

weevils in lab

Development Time and Predator-Prey Population Dynamics

Understanding the mechanisms promoting stability of predator-prey/parasitoid-host interactions has been a fertile and critically important area of theoretical and empirical research for the past century. Age (stage) structure, differential vulnerability of prey life stages, and variability in development times of life stages are ubiquitous features of predator-prey systems.  Read more 

FAW Garden with Cages

Evolution and Ecology of Invasive Plant Species

It doesn't take long working in tall-grass prairies or coastal marsh habitats to realize the extent to which invasive plant species have altered the structure and function of these ecosystems. Over the past 15 years, my interests in invasive plant species has grown and I am currently involved in several research projects associated with two invasive-plant systems.  Read more 

Aerial photo of Landscape Experiment Site

Host-Parasitoid Spatial Ecology

My primary research emphasis is on the role of habitat fragmentation and landscape heterogeneity on predator-prey spatial and temporal population dynamics. This research was conducted in the tallgrass prairies of North Dakota and focused on the interaction between the planthopper Prokelisia crocea and its egg parasitoid Anagrus columbi that coexist among discrete patches of prairie cordgrass.  Read more 

Past Research Projects