Welcome

One of the first things people notice when they walk into a forest is the immense diversity. While there is much to see throughout the canopy, the vast majority of a forest’s diversity lies hidden below our feet in the thick mat of leaf litter. Inspired by this hidden diversity, I have built a research program focused on uncovering the complexities of this below ground environment.

More specifically, I am a community ecologist who asks broad ecological questions about what drives ecosystem function and community assembly using some of the smallest and most numerous things on earth: chemical elements, microorganisms and invertebrates. I combine the technical toolkit of a microbiologist and bioinformatician to conduct field and lab-based experiments that investigate key ecological processes. While my research interests are extensive, a common theme throughout is exploring soil and leaf litter environments to understand ecosystem-level processes like nutrient cycling and decomposition.

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have.

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Examining an Azteca trigona nest on Barro Colorado Island in Panama.