How can understanding the causes and consequences of ecological diversity help us better manage natural resources?

This question unites the pure research aspects of ecology and the growing need for that research to be relevant to pressing, interacting global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and a growing human population.  It also connects research on the formation and impact of diversity, two major areas of ecological study, and drives my interests as a community ecologist and the work of students in my lab. We are broadly interested in understanding how environmental drivers, including impacts of human activities, interact to shape patterns in diversity and how diversity impacts ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services.  The unique properties of restored and exploited populations and chances to apply and test research findings means much our work also merges efforts to understand and manage diversity.  In order to consider these issues across multiple scales, we employ and connect field, lab, and quantitative techniques in various communities.  Many of our projects focus on coastal marine communities, but we also work on projects focused on tropical forests, ecosystem studies, and on large-scale synthetic and theoretical projects.  Current efforts include work on interactions between oyster reef conservation and aquaculture, oil spill effects, describing diversity in hyperdiverse systems such as kelp forests and rain forests, and the practice of species reintroductions.  We are also interested in communicating research findings to stakeholders and finding ways to connect education and research.  

There are openings for new students (undergraduate and graduate) in the lab who share similar interests.  Interested students should contact me at; you can also find more information here.

Lab News and Updates

  • New paper on NCE in oysters accepted to MEPS Our new paper on how non-consumptive effects are impacted by predator biomass and might impact oyster aquaculture has been accepted to MEPS! You can view the abstract and eventual ...
    Posted Feb 1, 2017, 5:40 AM by Stephen Gosnell
  • Early view available for oyster habitat paper Erica Levine's paper on how cultch type may influence oyster restoration efforts has been accepted by Restoration Ecology and is available via early view.
    Posted Jun 1, 2016, 7:28 AM by Stephen Gosnell
  • ratlantis moved to new r4atlantis organization on github The home for the ratlantis package has been moved to the new r4atlantis organization on github.  Maintaining it on the r4atlantis page should aid in keeping a single copy for ...
    Posted Dec 11, 2015, 12:48 AM by Stephen Gosnell
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