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

Protecting Piping Plovers
Protecting Piping Plovers

Visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are often treated to tiny scurrying beachcombers – piping plovers. Future visitors, however, could see fewer of these celebrated shorebirds. A study conducted by the Zipkin Lab revealed that the endangered shorebird population could decline over the next 10 years if additional conservation efforts are not taken.

Ecologist to Play Role in Large-Scale Seabird Study
Ecologist to Play Role in Large-Scale Seabird Study

Elise Zipkin will play a lead role in the model development of aerial seabird data for the Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species. The study area spans the coast from the Texas-Mexico border down to the tip of Florida.

Heavy Nitrogen Molecules Reveal Planetary-Scale Tug-of-War
Heavy Nitrogen Molecules Reveal Planetary-Scale Tug-of-War

Researchers from Rice University, UCLA, Michigan State, and the University of New Mexico have discovered a planetary-scale tug-of-war between life, deep Earth and the upper atmosphere that is expressed in atmospheric nitrogen. The research appears in Science Advances.