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

Is It Possible to Replay the Tape of Life?
Is It Possible to Replay the Tape of Life?

How predictable is evolution? The answer has long been debated by biologists grappling with the extent to which history affects the repeatability of evolution. A review published in Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. 

Tropical Frogs Found to Coexist With Deadly Fungus
Tropical Frogs Found to Coexist With Deadly Fungus

Amphibian biologists watched in horror in 2004 as the frogs of El Copé, Panama, began dying by the thousands because of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a deadly fungus more commonly known as chytrid. A new study suggests that, within a decade, the species remaining in El Copé developed the ability to coexist with chytrid fungus. 

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.