Search for Academy curators, collections managers, and research staff working to answer some of the world's most pressing scientific questions.
My research is focused on the processes that create biodiversity, especially in conditions of isolation. I am interested in the historic biogeography of the organisms that live in the Pacific Rim and its islands. Particularly, looking at the terrestrial invertebrates from remote volcanic archipelagos and islands from Patagonia.
For the past 30 years the major emphasis of my research has been the study of New World Acanthaceae (shrimp plants and their relatives). Although known in temperate regions primarily for showy ornamentals, the Acanthaceae are the 11th largest family of flowering plants (with more than 4,000 species) and a prominent element of many tropical regions. Mexico and Central America comprise a major center of diversity for this family.
My primary research goals are directed toward understanding how the functional and trait diversity of marine fauna changed during and after events of major environmental disturbance, such as mass extinctions. I am currently working on modelling the functional and trophic dynamics of Mesozoic marine food webs.
I am interested in ecology and evolution, and most of my work has focused on birds and more recently mammals. Our department of birds and mammals conducts research on local marine mammals, collaborates with US Fish and Wildlife for important surveys of public lands, and we do a variety of research ranging from studying why birds fly into windows in urban settings to how toxic birds acquire and use poisons for defense to using genetics to study relationships among species of animals (and more...) We currently have students in the lab ranging from high school, Masters students, PhD students