Research in our lab is currently divided into two areas:
The causes and consequences of biological invasions:
The introduction of species into new environments has increasingly become an economically costly and environmentally destructive phenomenon. Our research on invasions encompasses the following questions:
- What factors control susceptibility to invasion?
- What mechanisms underlie the displacement of native species?
- To what extent can native species assemblages recover following experimental invader removal?
This research primarily exploits social insect invasions. Social insects form populous and long-lived colonies that can profoundly affect the ecosystems they invade. Moreover, the complex and highly integrated behavior of social insect colonies contributes importantly to the success of these introductions and provides a rich substrate for research.
Pollination services in the face of environmental change:
Declining pollinator populations threaten to compromise the integrity of pollination services in both agricultural and non-managed systems. Our research addresses this general issue from two key perspectives:
- How do land-use intensification and habitat fragmentation threaten pollinator populations, and to what extent do these changes compromise pollination services?
- How do non-native species interact with native pollinators, and do these interactions negatively impact pollination services? This research program mostly focuses on local ecosystems, which are rich in native bee species and also support abundant populations of non-native honey bees.