Population and Community Ecology

Population ecologists and community ecologists study the ecology of individual populations and the interactions of species within natural communities. Population ecologists investigate ecological patterns and dynamics at the population level, linking to processes occuring at lower (individual and within-individual) and higher (species interactions, communities, and ecosystems) levels of biological organization. Community ecologists study the ecological patterns and dynamics of assemblages of populations of two or more species co-occuring in the same geographic area.

Investigations in EEMB include such topics as elucidating the mechanisms of coexistence of competing species, population regulation and stability, predator-prey relationships, parasitism, invasive species, biological control of pests, biodiversity, theoretical ecology, ecological modeling, biostatistics, behavioral ecology, plant-animal interactions, and applied ecology.

Population and community ecologists at UCSB investigate marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems, ranging from tropical coral reef systems at the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research site in French Polynesia to freshwater systems in the arctic tundra.

Faculty

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Dr. Briggs studies disease ecology, population ecology, and systems biology, combining theoretical and empirical approaches, using models and laboratory and field experiments.

My research has mostly focused on how trophic interactions and productivity shape community organization across a variety of different ecosystems including coral reefs, rivers, tall grass prairies, and African savannas.

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A current focus of my research is to examine how disturbances (wildfire, floods) operating at different scales of time interact to affect top-down and bottom-up interactions in streams.

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Research in my lab elucidates mechanisms controlling plant dominance and the conditions under which non-native plants have short versus long term community and ecosystem impacts.

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Population and community ecology, river ecology, predator-prey interactions, science education.

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Conservation biology, sustainable fisheries, climate change, biogeography, marine ecology, biostatistics.

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Community ecology; marine vertebrate predation and competition.

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Marine biogeochemistry, ocean acidification, phytoplankton ecophysiology, marine calcification, inorganic carbon chemistry, genomics, shot-gun proteomics, genetic diversity.

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Parasite population and community ecology; marine ecology; crustacean biology.

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Adaptive evolution within and among wild plant species, with a special interest in physiological performance, life history, phenology, floral traits, and mating system.

Understanding the ecology of communities and ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

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John Melack is internationally recognized for making seminal contributions to our understanding of the ecological functioning of inland waters and their importance in the carbon cycle.

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The Moeller Lab uses mathematics, experiments, and field observations to understand how metabolic interactions between species shape the structure and function of ecological communities.

Population ecology; regulation of populations; predator-prey relationships.

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Dr. Nisbet's research covers many areas of theoretical ecology with particular emphasis on Dynamic Energy Budget theory and its application to environmental problems.

Research in the Oono Lab is focused on understanding how symbiotic associations evolve, particularly between plant hosts or communities and bacterial or fungal microbes.

Behavioral ecology, social organization, community ecology, eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Marine microbiology, microbial ecology, nitrogen cycling

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Population and community ecology; applied ecology; consumer-resource interactions; marine invertebrates and reef fishes.

Professor Siegel’s research focuses on aquatic ecosystems and their functioning using the tools of an applied physicist, radiative transfer and fluid mechanics.

How to re-assemble resilient ecosystems and harness the ecological, economic, and cultural services they provide remains a fundamental yet unanswered question in ecology and conservation biology. My research program focuses on the recovery and assembly of disturbed and degraded ecosystems in the face of ongoing human impact. The following questions guide my current research: (1) How do ecosystems respond to disturbance?, (2) What drives the trajectory of ecosystem recovery? (3) What makes ecosystems resilient?

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Evolutionary ecology, population and conservation biology; ecology and behavior of reef fishes.

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The Young lab seeks to understand how and when anthropogenic disturbances are likely to drive cascading changes in whole community structure and function, including implications for human health.