Plant Community Ecology
Our research focuses on plant-microbial interactions and in particular their responses to land use and climate change. Our goal is to develop our understanding of how species interactions determine the trajectories of ecosystems to different stable states in order that society can better address questions like:
1) What species can and will thrive under increased anthropogenic pressures?
2) How should we target our efforts to best save species and restore ecosystems?
3) What attributes or functions of biological systems preserve the ecosystems services upon which human societies depend most?
A variety of methodologies including molecular technologies, metagenomics, isotope techniques and biochemical analyses are used to elucidate relationships among species and their roles in driving ecosystem processes. Current projects include the following topics: restoration ecology, network modelling, mycorrhizal fungi of native New Zealand plants, microbial ecology and nutrient cycling of native and managed ecosystems.
I am actively recruiting students at all levels of study. Student projects will involve fieldwork and/or glasshouse experiments and may include molecular biology, biochemical work and modelling. Students with relevant research interests are encouraged to contact me by email or to drop by my office.