About my research

My research can be framed within the broad disciplines of macroecology and community ecology. Within these disciplines, I strive to balance research related to theoretical aspects (e.g., analysis methods and links to theoretical ecology) and potential applications on real world issues, especially as they relate to agriculture and climate change.

I am generally interested in understanding and modeling species distributions and patterns of biodiversity including species richness but also phylogenetic (i.e. diversity in the evolutionary history contained in a community) and functional (i.e. diversity in life history traits and ecological characteristics of species within a community) diversity. I think that using a multi-facetted view of biodiversity can help us link theory and practice in a more effective way than simply looking at species richness. This is a necessary step in predicting potential effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity, which is one of my motivations. Phylogenetic and functional diversity, particularly how clustered or overdispersed these are with respect to random expectations, can inform us regarding the relative roles of competition, facilitation, and environmental filtering in structuring local to regional communities and the mechanisms behind diversity maintenance.

Scales of study go from metacommunities (i.e. several communities potentially connected through dispersal) to continents, to global, and approaches include virtual ecology, analyses of spatial patterns, and multivariate analyses. I am not particularly attached to one taxon or geographic region, but rather to the idea of identifying common mechanisms, patterns or analysis strategies that can be broadly applied to different ecological systems. I have therefore studied a variety of organisms (birds, plants, fish, mammals) in different regions (Chile, California, France, South Africa, and more recently South East Asia, Ecuador, and sub-Saharan Africa), and I am always happy to explore new horizons with students and colleagues.


Beyond the theoretical advances of macroecological methods, I am also interested in how these methods can be applied to agricultural systems to predict and plan potential effects of climate change on agricultural pests, food security, and on insect diversity at large.

On editorial subjects, I am currently a subject editor for Ecography, and for the Journal of Biogeography, journals that publish research in macroecology and biogeography, as well as for Functional Ecology, which is focused on more mecanistic aspects of ecology.

Detailed CV