Species face a variety of novel ecological opportunities and challenges as they respond to the conditions of human-modified environments. Novel climate space, exposure to chemicals and pollutants, physical barriers, new communities of interacting species, and shifts in resource availability are just a few examples. In some cases, these changes might cause species to experience genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding, rapid population growth, or rapid evolution. Ultimately, biologists would like to understand the strategies species use to thrive under these novel conditions. This would enhance our ability to mitigate human-induced environmental changes, as well as predict species responses to difficult management problems (e.g. climate change).
Current Projects: The effect of global change on morphological and genetic diversity of butterflies.