Ecology & The Environment

Mechanistic insight in ecology and the environment has traditionally lagged other biological disciplines, owing to the vast complexity of ecosystems and the large spatial and temporal scales across which ecological dynamics play out. However, this is changing rapidly: enhanced computational power and emerging technologies are increasingly enabling fresh tests of classic models and stimulating the development of novel theory, promising that the 21st century will be one of transformative advance in this field. The proud legacy of ecological research at Princeton is marked by the coupling of mathematical, experimental, and synthetic approaches, with the goal of developing a theory of ecological systems across scales, from molecules to organisms to the biosphere. Global change, declining biodiversity, and the goal of achieving sustainability in natural-resource use motivate much of this work, reflected in major efforts to assess the responses of ecosystems to climate change and species loss, improve reserve design and other aspects of conservation strategy, manage emerging infectious diseases, and quantify the value of ecosystem services.