Nature is always changing, but we understand little about the dynamics of how ecological systems undergo change or its impact on the function of those systems. Inspired by our challenges understanding the group’s long-term study system, a major focus of our group is studying the temporal dynamics of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Quantifying ecological dynamics is difficult and we are not just studying ecological change, we are also exploring new tools for studying ecological dynamics. Our hope is that by understanding the patterns that emerge as ecological system change, and the underlying operating processes, we will improve our ability to forecast future change.
We have a number of projects focused on understanding and predicting dynamics:
- Studying changes in our Portal Project research site over the past 40 years
- Analyses of large numbers of time-series datasets to look for general patterns
- Forecasting the future state of natural systems
- Developing theoretical frameworks for understanding how ecosystems change
- Applying machine-learning approaches to quantifying patterns of ecological change.