Many of my research projects center on determining the relative importance of evolutionary processes versus ecological factors as drivers of community structure. To answer this question, I am working to identify the possibility of coordinated stasis in fossil communities, make inferences about the ecological requirements of a species and identifying what hierarchical patterns exist in ecological networks. Investigations of body size have become a key component of this research because body size is a proxy for a swathe of functional life history traits and thus provides a simple metric for assessing the dynamics of ecological networks and phenotypic response of communities to environmental change. Examples of specific studies I have undertaken in this area include identifying the importance of population subdivision as a driver of community diversity, assessing how extinction risk is connected to the energetic requirements of a species and quantifying the relative import of biotic interactions as a mechanism for evolutionary change.
EXAMPLE RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS
- Strotz, L.C., Saupe, E.E., Kimmig, J., and Lieberman, B.S. (2018) Metabolic rates, climate and macroevolution: A case study using Neogene molluscs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 285: 20181292 [Full Text] [PDF]
- Strotz, L.C., Simões, M., Girard, M., Breitkreuz, L., Kimmig, J., and Lieberman, B.S. (2018) Getting Somewhere with the Red Queen: Chasing a Biologically Modern Definition of the Hypothesis. Biology Letters 14: 20170734 [Full Text] [PDF]