Why some species interact but others don't? When multiple species interact, how their entanglement looks like in time and space and what are the implications for ecosystem functioning and stability? How global environmental changes affect species interactions? Can we predict how strongly will species associate? Can we restore complex interaction networks, their related ecosystem functions and build resilience? I am a community ecologist broadly interested in species interactions and these are some of the questions my research aims to answer.

Simplified multiplex network from S Brazil.

Research Interest

  • community ecology
  • interaction networks
  • plant-animal interactions
  • mutualisms
  • novel ecosystems

Enjoying some chimarrĂ£o in the backyard before the winter begins (Illinois, January 2019).

Norway, 2015

Most of my work has been on the applications of network theory and null models to investigate plant-animal interactions, especially the ones involving plants and their pollinators and seed dispersers. After over 10 years investigating mainly plant-hummingbird interactions, my current research is now focusing on seed dispersal networks in novel ecosystems of Hawaii, trying to understand their structure, dynamics and stability. I am more interested in questions than specific organisms, so I tend to engage in research on other types of interactions, as long as the research questions are exciting.

Sam, Jeff Foster, Jinelle, Corey, Patrick and Jef in O'ahu, Hawai'i, in 2018.