My primary research goals are to:
- understand the roles of vertebrates in terrestrial systems,
- identify mechanisms that underlie the structure of ecological communities,
- characterize biodiversity responses to ecological changes (land use, defaunation, invasive species) and to climate change.
Sample of Research Interests and Projects
Roles and Impacts of Vertebrates
1. Nonrandom seed dispersal by frugivores & impacts of disperser loss
I seek to provide new insights to long-lasting questions of what are the impacts of frugivores on plants – from the individual level to population and community levels, how different frugivore species within a guild may vary in their seed dispersal service, and how frugivore loss affect forest integrity and ecosystem services. These questions have important conceptual implications for understanding the dynamics and functioning of biodiverse plant communities, given that seed dispersal determines ecological and evolutionary patterns of plant diversity. Such knowledge can also aid in predicting which species might be most sensitive and what are the ecosystem responses to frugivore loss.
2. Seed predation & secondary dispersal
I investigate the impacts of ground-dwelling animals on seed fate and their potential roles in filling functional gap in disturbed communities.
Biodiversity and ecological change
1. Characterizing mechanisms driving diversity in biodiverse tropical ecosystems
I am particularly interested in how environmental filtering, ecological traits and species interactions shape ecological community structure and biodiversity at multiple scales.
2. Determining impacts of ecological change due to land use and invasive species
I investigate how edge effects and biological invasions influence patterns of diversity, animal behavior, species interactions and ecosystem services.
3. Using the past to inform the present and future
My work aims to understand how patterns of past biodiversity loss relate to current extinction threat, which could improve predictions of future species declines and guide conservation efforts.
I explore different aspects of fruiting phenology patterns in Madagascar's tropical rainforests as well as how these patterns influence plant-animal interactions.