Ecological disturbances damage and kill individuals and thereby influence relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment. In so doing, disturbances can alter dynamics of entire ecosystems. My science seeks to understand ecological disturbances as drivers of change in populations, communities and ecosystems both over time and at their spatial boundaries. I am especially interested in how disturbances influence the feedbacks and breakpoints that underpin biotic systems.
By collecting and analyzing demographic information from carefully-conceived experiments on dominant focal species, I have been able to make mechanistic inferences about population-, community- and landscape-level dynamics. This approach lends itself to investigations that are simultaneously fundamental and applied in nature. In this way, important implications for conservation and/or restoration can proceed naturally from the very same research that seeks to understand evolutionary strategies and other curiosities of natural selection.