From the High Sierras to Pacific Atolls.



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Project Description

Our community ecology lab is working to understand how human-driven changes to natural systems (species loss and invasion, habitat loss, climate change) affect ecosystem structure, stability and function.
Project 1: 
One of the primary ways we measure ecosystem structure is by representing them as networks of interacting species.We are currently building food webs for a series of islands in the south pacific to better understand:
1. How do island size and productivity affect the distribution and diversity of species?
2. How does variation in these species interactions affect system stability and function?
Project 2:
Study the ecosystem and community level effects of species introductions and climate change in alpine lakes. Many naturally fishless lakes in California's Sierra Nevada have been stocked with trout over the past hundred years, creating a natural experimental setup that we use to study how insect communities, water quality, and ecosystem services are affected by the presence of these top predators across a climate gradient.
Undergraduate Contribution
Students will develop skills in specimen identification and preservation, use of microscopes, data management and analysis, and more depending on interest, with potential for fieldwork in spring or summer quarters. 
Requirements/Application Instructions
Students that have taken basic coursework in biology are preferred, but it is not required.