I am interested in the emergence, maintenance and loss of diversity at all levels of biological organization. How can biodiversity be regulated in space and time? The question is important, not just so we can gain an insight into the history of life on the planet, but because it is fundamental to understanding the benefits we obtain from biodiversity as we know it: ecosystem services.
In previous years, my main focus has been the use of natural microcosm, as a model system for testing predictions of community ecology theory. My study organisms have ranged from bacteria, protozoans, mycorrhizal fungi to plants and animals and in the majority of my work I have used experimental set-up. Common theme in this line of work is to understand the roles of biotic interactions in structuring patterns of ecological communities across space and time. Most of my work has also contained a theoretical component as I try to integrate modeling and experimental approaches.