About


I am a Professor in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Biomathematics departments. A major goal of my research is to quantify and understand the possible functions, forms, and interactions of biological systems that result in the extraordinary diversity in nature. I have studied a wide range of areas such as metabolic scaling, consumer-resource interactions, rates of evolution, effects of global warming on ecosystems, tumor growth, and sleep. Complementary to this, I aim to understand how much variation around optima or averages is considered healthy or adaptive versus diseased or disturbed states, which are essentially deviations from normal or sustainable functioning. As I attempt to make progress on these questions, I join together ecology, evolutionary theory, physiology, mathematical modeling, image-analysis software, informatics, and biomedical sciences. Many theories, including some of my work, focus on optimal or average properties, but more recently, I have been working to obtain the large amounts of data necessary to characterize variation in key properties. My new findings about the diversity and variation in form and function are revealing flaws in current models, and I am working to develop new theories that incorporate realistic amounts of natural variation.

Updates from the Group


Two Open Postdoctoral Positions.

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SEPTEMBER 2016

Highlight on sleep research and theory in AARP magazine

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JULY 2016

Publication in Royal Society Interface on new methods for measuring, quantifying, and rescaling three-way emergent interactions among antibiotics

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JUNE 2016

Publication in Physical Review E on algorithm and simulations to investigate investigating scaling and branching properties of asymmetric, space filling vascular networks

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AUGUST 2015

Publication in PLoS Comp. Biol. providing new, best tests of vascular models and vascular models based on our angicart software for extracting vascular data from 3D images.

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JANUARY 2015

Publication in Advances in Ecological Research on trait-based models.

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2015

James S. McDonnell Complex Systems Scholar Fellowship awarded to study emergent interactions in microbial and consumer-resource networks.

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2015

NSF EEID grant awarded to study how temperature change affects geographic spread of mosquite-borne diseases.

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2015

NSF DEB grant awarded to study how trait distributions and ecosystem productivity and diversity responds to climate change in the Amazon.

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MAY 2013

Publication in J. of Animal Ecol. on asymmetric temperature responses between consumer and resource.

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FEBRUARY 2013

NSF CAREER grant awarded to study architecture of vascular networks in plants and animals.

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DECEMBER 2011

Publication in Nature on how dimensionality of search space affects consumption rate.

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