Research

We study life in context. Our research aims to answer fundamental questions that address national needs related to sustainable biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human and animal health and welfare. We focus on developing an integrative understanding of how complex biological systems develop, function, interact and evolve in a complex and changing world. Our vision is based on the proposition that by examining biological phenomena at all levels of the hierarchy of life in their ecological and evolutionary contexts, we can identify more meaningful questions and develop more meaningful answers. We work across the entire tree of life at all levels of biological organization, ranging from molecules to global ecosystems, over time scales ranging from milliseconds to millennia.

Our directory provide general descriptions of the diverse research initiatives. A more vivid and dynamic picture can be seen from the news stories posted on our home page, news page, and abstracted below. Feel free to contact any of us for more information.

News

New Genetics Tool Helps Answer Evolutionary Questions
New Genetics Tool Helps Answer Evolutionary Questions

Developing cutting-edge statistical tools that can handle these massive new datasets is a piece of the research puzzle, and new research by Gideon Bradburd and colleagues has just added a new tool for the modern genomic toolbox. 

Microbes Hitch a Ride Inland on Coastal Fog
Microbes Hitch a Ride Inland on Coastal Fog

Sarah Evans is a co-author of a new study which found that fog can transfer microbes into new environments.

Modeling the Evolutionary Emergence of Diverse Microbial Metabolisms
Modeling the Evolutionary Emergence of Diverse Microbial Metabolisms

Elena Litchman and Christopher Klausmeier are the recipients of a two year, $360,000 NASA Astrobiology/Exobiology grant to fund research on modeling the evolutionary origin of diverse microbial metabolisms.