Community ecology and population biology are particular areas of strength, covering the nature of species interactions, the composition of species assemblages over space and time, evolutionary ecology, and population dynamics. Current foci include disease ecology, plant-animal interactions (see also Chemical Ecology), and trait-mediated interactions. We integrate well to other conceptual areas including behavioral ecology, climate change, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary genetics, and phylogenetics.
One area that has captured the attention of several labs is how rapid evolutionary change can shape population and community dynamics. Our vibrant group frequently hosts graduate seminars and recent topics have included eco-evolutionary feedbacks, biodiversity-ecosystem function, community ecology and phylogenetics, and specialism and generalism in ecology. Community ecology and population biology interfaces with Organismal Biology, which concentrates on the ecology and life-history evolution of single species. Applied research in community ecology and population biology includes work on conservation biology, invasions, biodiversity, disease dynamics, and agroecology in systems that range from the coral reefs to local corn fields.