My research is driven by two major components, grounded in basic science and practical human outcomes. First, as an ecologist, I am interested in understanding what factors limit and regulate animal populations in the natural world. Secondly, with my background in environmental science and policy, I am committed to using this knowledge to inform the design of sustainable pest management in agro-ecosystems. To this end, I am broadly interested in understanding how population and community dynamics are shaped by species interactions, and I study these interactions through the lens of pest organisms and their predators. My research addresses how top-down forces influence insect ecology, contribute to trophic cascades and structure ecological communities. In studying these interactions, I use an integrative approach combining manipulative laboratory experiments with field studies to identify and quantify the way in which insects interact with, respond to, and are changed by their environment in both agricultural and natural systems. My current and ongoing work focuses on insect predator-prey ecology and the under-appreciated role that the risk of predation has on insect behavior, physiology and ultimately fitness.
Influence of Predation Risk on Insect Populations
Mechanisms of Risk Detection
Use of Predator Cues in Pest Managment
Role of Habitat Composition and Spatio-Temporal Scale on Species Interactions