Community dynamics across pond-permanence gradients
My Ph.D. focused on wetland drying, a fundamental habitat contrast, influences community assembly and species interactions in benthic organsims. My research revealed that disturbance from wetland drying altered predation and generated niche heterogeneity in space and time that is exploited by vulnerable organisms. However, the influence of predators on community assembly depended on the predictability of drying and the flexibility of prey traits. This suggests that biogeographic-scale processes that control disturbance regimes and trait evolution may govern community assembly at local and regional scales. I am currently testing this hypothesis with a global-scale meta-analysis of wetland communities in regions of contrasting environmental variability.