Long-term research goals

  • To understand the ecological and evolutionary causes of high tree species diversity in tropical rain forests.
  • To work towards a new synthesis of community ecology and phylogenetic theory.
  • To help develop the knowledge and skills needed for the restoration of diverse forest on deforested tropical land.

A sample of specific research questions

  • What is the role of the seedling stage in the maintenance of high tree species diversity? (thesis research)
  • How do density dependence and habitat partitioning contribute to high diversity in rain forest? (thesis research)
  • How does the species composition of rain forest vary as a function of (regional-scale) distance, in the absence of habitat gradients? I.e., what is the influence of the within-range abundance structure of species on overall forest composition?
  • How does variation in the ontogenetic development of tree seedlings map onto phylogenetic relationships?