Metagenomics and the Role of Species Interactions in Community Ecology. Populations are fundamental units of ecology, evolution and conservation biology, and species interactions determine community structure. Primary research efforts here aim to understand the importance of species interactions for maintaining grassland structure and function, including developing metagenomic approaches.
Hartnett focuses on the importance of fire and herbivory to plant population dynamics and species interactions, including bud-bank dynamics, and the impact of mycorrhizal fungus associations to mediate plant responses.
Herman is taking genomics into the field to understand how nematode genomics of the model C. elegans informs us about nutrient stress responses to naturally occurring worms in the face of possible competitors and predators.
Joern studies food web dynamics with the goal of understanding how insect herbivores interact with competitors and predators to influence overall patterns of feeding and primary production responses at the plant trophic level while elucidating mechanisms responsible for species interactions.
Jumpponen focuses on plant-fungal interactions using molecular methods to define and characterize fungal niches in the field to understand successional dynamics associated with glaciers, and the role of mycorrhizal diversity and nitrogen use by ericaceous plants.