These are a few of my favourite things in ecology. I’m interested in all scales of ecosystem functioning and how they interact, from fine-scale microclimate dynamics to large-scale shifts in species ranges.
My main study systems so far have been the biological soil crusts (biocrusts) of Australia’s arid zone and the terricolous lichen mats in Scandinavian tundra. A key feature of both communities is that they have high species richness at fine scales (e.g. 15 visible species in a 15 cm diameter circle) and that they are easily manipulable.
I’m particularly interested in using functional traits to explain community-level variation. The functional trait revolution has only recently percolated into the non-vascular literature, and there remains much work to be done to develop protocols and collate trait data from around the world.
Currently for my PhD, I’m exploring the effects of climate change on the ranges of biocrust species. I use a range of approaches, including over-the-edge transplants, historical resurveys and environmental niche modelling.