Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning
Global change, from habitat alterations to changes in climate, causes distributional shifts in species composition and species extinction. Thus, it is important to know how ecosystems respond to changes in species number and composition. My major goal is to quantify the role of species functional diversity in affecting important ecosystem processes. To reach that goal, I also aim at (i) assessing the spatial and temporal conditions in which diversity affects functioning, (ii) evaluating which functional traits are responsible for diversity effects on ecosystems, and (iii) quantifying the role of intra-specific functional variation on food web structure and function.
The balance of nutrients between organisms and the environment has strong implications for how resources are consumed, or for the fitness of different species. Ecological stoichiometry offers a powerful theoretical framework by which we can investigate the chemical conditions driving the functioning of ecosystems. My main aim is to understand how the balance of nutrients between resource and consumers affects ecological processes.
Stream ecosystem functioning
Streams are vital to human beings as a source of drinking water and are vital to ecosystems by transporting water and nutrients across the landscape. When looking at streams, I aim to assess the effects of human disturbances at the reach and landscape levels on important ecological processes, such as the invertebrate community composition and the production and decomposition of organic matter.
Parasite effects on functioning
Parasitism is a ubiquitous life strategy. However, its effect on the functioning of ecosystems has been largely ignored. My main goals are (i) to quantify the role of parasites in affecting the phenotype of their hosts and (ii) to evaluate how host intra-specific diversity, driven by parasite-induced changes in phenotype, will affect ecosystem functioning.