My research interests focus on the structure and functioning of ecological communities. Some of the questions that interest me include how ecosystems respond to changes in climate, disturbance regimes and management; how spatial and temporal environmental variability promotes biodiversity and influences community structure, and how environmental factors and species interactions interact to determine the distribution of species through space and time. I am particularly interested in the development and field-testing of ecological theory, statistical ecology, and in the application of mathematical models for ecological analysis. Specific projects include:
- The development of methods for integrating data and models to investigate the terrestrial carbon cycle, at spatial scales ranging from patch to continent, and the application of carbon cycle models to selected Australian ecosystems (including environmental and mallee plantings, tall Eucalyptus forests in New South Wales and Victoria, and open forest and woodlands in south-central Queensland).
- Tree, grass and shrub dynamics within subalpine Australia, with a particular focus on landscape-scale changes in vegetation distribution and the implications for fuel management and fire risk.
- The quantification of Net Primary Productivity in Australian ecosystems.
- Theoretical investigations into disturbance and its role in maintaining species diversity.
- Testing theories of fluctuation-dependent mechanisms of species coexistence in a forest understorey community.
- The development of methods for ‘up-scaling’ ecological phenomena through space and time.