J. Stephen Gosnell, Baruch College
How can understanding the causes and consequences of ecological diversity help us better manage natural resources?
This question drives my research. I am interested in understanding how environmental drivers, including impacts of human activities, shape patterns in diversity and how diversity impacts ecosystem functioning and services. In order to consider these issues across multiple scales, my lab group employs and connects field, lab, and quantitative techniques. Our field work allows us manipulate conditions to determine relationships between environmental factors, diversity, and ecosystem services. Most of these projects focus on local coastal communities, with an emphasis on oyster reefs and salt marshes, and attempt to offer essential insight on efforts to conserve and restore diversity in these managed (e.g., reintroduced, protected) populations. We also try to understand principles that govern community structure and functioning by analyzing "big data" collected in these and other communities, developing models to explain and predict how individual, populations, and communities grow, and carrying out meta-analyses. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; you can also find more information here.