My research examines the organization and emergent properties of complex adaptive systems at multiple scales, from single cells to entire ecosystems. Central to our approach is the development of general theoretical frameworks. Simultaneously, we use empirical data to identify and catalog patterns in nature and, within the general frameworks, we develop models whose predictions we attempt to empirically test using eco-evolutionary experiments, molecular and genomic analyses, and field manipulations.
My approach is mainly theoretical and combines evolutionary dynamics, evolutionary game theory and elements of network theory but my lab works in collaboration with experimental and field ecologists, molecular biologists and evolutionary biologists to integrate modeling and empirical work. The questions I'm interested in range from multicellularity to social behaviors in bacteria, insects or humans, to the effects of population structure and spatial patterns on evolutionary and ecological dynamics, to mutualistic interactions especially in the context of multi-species networks of symbionts.