Biodiversity and its Dynamics
We study general ecological patterns observable at large spatial and temporal scales, focussing on those which reveal invariances, i.e. which are independent (or predictably dependent) on taxon, scale, or region. Examples of such patterns are the species-area relationship (scale-dependence of species richness), latitudinal diversity gradient (i.e. the decrease of biodiversity from the Equator to the poles) or the species-abundance distribution (i.e. relative commonness and rarity of species). The aim is to understand the interrelationships between all these patterns, as well as fundamental evolutionary and ecological constraints determining them. Recently we are starting to focus also on temporal changes of diversity and distribution, both contemporary (in relation to climatic and land use changes) and in the geological past (in collaboration with paleoecologists).
Collaboration with David Storch.