Environmental impacts, including pollution and climate change, can dramatically affect the species we find in ecological communities and how these species interact. Human impacts can also trigger rapid evolutionary changes in populations strong enough to affect population dynamics, species interactions, and nutrient fluxes. In other words, anthropogenic global change can drive eco-evolutionary dynamics. I use a combination of field studies and laboratory experiments to explore these dynamics in natural populations, mainly zooplankton assemblages in lakes. Some of my work has looked at these trends over century and longer time scales using lake sediment archives as well as “resurrection” of diapausing zooplankton eggs. There is a presumption that rapid evolution occurs in response to strong selection pressure, resulting in local adaptation, and that these evolutionary responses may, in turn, influence species interactions. My research has shown that these dynamics may not be that simple, particularly in human impacted systems.
- PhD, Yale University
- MS, Yale University
- BS, College of William and Mary