Department: Division of Biological Sciences
University System: University of Montana - Missoula
The primary focus of the research in my lab is on how organisms interact with each other, but we are interested in all aspects of ecology. These interactions include direct interactions, such as competition for resources, allelopathy, and facilitation; and indirect interactions mediated by herbivores, soil microbes, and other competitors. I continue to study facilitative interactions among plants, mostly alpine habitats and in collaboration with the international Alpine Pals research group. But because of how my graduate students have influenced my interests over the last 15 years, most of my time is now spent on exploring how exotic invaders dominate habitats despite limited opportunities for local adaption and suppress native species which have had ample opportunities to locally adapt. Specific interests in invasions include the role of soil biota, novel biochemical interactions with native competitors, microbes, and generalist herbivores, and using invaders to test general ideas about competition.