Department of Biology, Swarthmore College
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My research focuses on understanding the processes controlling the structure and dynamics of temperate and tropical forest communities and ecosystems. It is based on how species-specific variation in growth, survival, reproduction, morphology, and physiology, are influenced by the physical environment and by interactions with other individuals. The research requires a broad understanding of ecological processes such as carbon, water and nutrient cycling, light use, above and belowground productivity, biodiversity and their associated feedback mechanisms. The approach I take in addressing research questions is broadly comparative and I use experimental and analytical methods for integrating physiological and ecological processes across individuals, communities and ecosystems.

The following are some of my current projects:

  1. Maintenance of Positive Carbon Budget in Understory Seedlings with Long Leaf Life Span (with Dr. Kaoru Kitajima, University of Florida, Gainesville and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama)

  2. Stoichiometry of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum: a long-term ecological field research curriculum for biology undergraduates (with members of Bio 36 Ecology 2002, 2003, 2004 and Bio 137 seminar 2004)

  3. Seasonal variation in light availability and canopy structure of invasive Norway maple and native sugar maple and American beech (with Ryan Esquejo '05)


  4. Experimental approach to the removal of an invasive species: the case of Japanese knotweed (with Michael DeFillipo '04, Kirsten Vannice '04 and Bradley String - Biology Teacher from Ridley High School)

  5. Digital conversion of Samuel Palmer's drawings of local flora and plant specimens of the Biology department herbarium collection (with Laura Carballo '05, Bpantamars Phadungchob '05 and Rachel Wallace, Biology laboratory instructor)

  6. Intra and interspecific root competition: trade-offs or game theory? (with Erik J. Elwood ‘04)

  7. Evaluation of geographical information system to study growth and distribution of English Ivy in the Crum woods of Swarthmore College (with Aja Peters-Mason '04 and Elisha Gaston '03)

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