Research

Ecological and evolutionary response to global change

Front row are elevated CO2 cultures, back row are ambient CO2 cultures.

The world has been changing faster in the past ten years than it likely has in the last 300 million.  When faced with environmental change, species can avoid the change by moving, evolve and adapt to the new conditions or go extinct. Environmental change will thus cause changes in the composition of communities and in the important functions they provide.

We investigate how knowledge of the physiology of individual species can help us predict changes in complex communities.  We also study how the physiology of species can change through evolutionary adaptation to their novel environment and how this can impact ecological processes.  Environmental change can sometimes be sufficiently extreme to be lethal to all organisms in the initial community.  We test how communities can survive through community rescue and how species within communities can adapt and undergo evolutionary rescue when exposed to a degrading environment.

These questions are addressed using phytoplankton, bacteria and coral as model organisms.

Publications on the ecological and evolutionary response to global change.

To date, this research has been funded by:

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