Ecology and behavior of animals in space and time
Research in our group focuses on the effects of an animal's behavior, movement, and dispersal on population dynamics and ecological interactions. In practice, we spend a great deal of time trying to understand how and why animals, from individuals to populations, move. Movement is how animals interact with space and time as they seek to exploit heterogeneously distributed resources while minimizing risk. It is a multidimensional time-series process, and creates interesting and difficult applied and theoretical ecological problems. We try to balance the development of new analytical and theoretical approaches with empirical observations and manipulative experiments to address these problems.
In modern ecology, the science generally has a dual mission to both understand and conserve, and so does our work. There are many ways these missions interact, some are better than others, and just as many philosophies about how they should. Personally, I think designing studies that probe basic ecology provide the least biased and most nuanced understanding of an organism or an ecosystem, and these insights lead to better conservation. Most of my work is on marine species and ecosystems, and this work continues. But, I have always had favorite taxa in the terrestrial world, and since most questions in ecology are not system dependent, I have several lines of work on insects and terrestrial vertebrates.