J. Stephen Gosnell, Baruch College

How can understanding the causes and consequences of ecological diversity help us better manage natural resources?

This question drives the work of my research group at Baruch College. We are broadly interested in understanding how environmental drivers, including impacts of human activities, interact to shape patterns in diversity and how diversity impacts ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. In order to consider these issues across multiple scales, we employ and connect field, lab, and quantitative techniques. Our field work allows us to manipulate communities to determine mechanisms linking diversity, drivers, and impacts. Oysters and ribbed mussels, and the local coastal communities they inhabit, are the main organisms we work with. We also try to understand principles that govern community structure and functioning by analyzing "big data" collected from other communities, developing models to explain and predict how individual, populations, and communities grow, and carrying out meta-analyses. The unique properties of managed populations and chances to apply and test research findings for these groups means much our work also focuses on efforts to conserve and restore diversity. You can read more about our current projects under the research tab.

My interests in these topics also drives my work as a teacher. I lead upper division courses on conservation biology and biostatistics, and I also enjoy introducing students to ecology through non-majors and first-year courses. My courses typically use open educational resources in lieu of traditional textbooks in order to increase student access and bring current material into the classroom. You can view material I've developed or aggregated for my courses under the teaching tab.

Communicating science is another aspect of my job that I truly enjoy. Our work on managed systems offers chances to communicate with stakeholders on various projects, and the lab also coordinate outreach opportunities focused on K-12 education. You can read more about these efforts under the outreach tab.

There are openings for new students (undergraduate and graduate) in the lab who share similar interests. Interested students should contact me at stephen.gosnell@baruch.cuny.edu; you can also find more information here.