We are very excited to welcome Dan Wieczynski who is joining us from UCLA to work on our DOE grant. Welcome Dan!!
The US Department of Energy is funding our $3.1M grant to study the neglected controls on peatland C cycling: bacterial predation by protists and viral infections. This grant is central to our ability to predict whether warming will beget further warming, through positive feedbacks on bacterial communities that release CO2, as their abundances may be controlled by temperature-dependent interactions with predatory protists and disease. Our understanding of how these moss-associated food webs, and food webs in general, may respond to changes in temperature, is nascent. This grant will thus fill a glaring gap in our current understanding as to how ecosystems may respond to rapid global climate change. In case you'd like to read more on food web responses to temperature, check out our new paper in Scientific Reports.
This is a collaborative grant with Jon Shaw (Duke), Dave Weston (Oak Ridge National Lab), Dale Pelletier (ORNL) and Steven Wilhelm (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) and will involve genomics, field and microcosm laboratory experiments, as well as mathematical modeling.
To learn more about the grant click here: "DUKE-LED TEAM WINS $3M GRANT TO STUDY PEATLANDS AND CLIMATE CHANGE"
Zeyi Han has joined the lab as a new PhD student. Z will be working on eco-evolutionary dynamics on food webs from a theoretical and empirical perspective. Welcome Z!
I learned yesterday that I am one of the 2019 recipients of the American Society of Naturalists Jasper Loftus-Hills Young Investigator Award. I'm both honored and humbled by this award. I will be presenting a research paper in the young investigator symposium at this year's joint ASN, Society for the Study of Evolution, and the Society of Systematic Biologists meeting: Evolution 2019, in Providence, RI. I can't wait to meet my other three fellow awardees, thank you ASN!
This wouldn't have been possible without the help, support and dedication of my advisors and mentors: Paulo Guimarães Jr. (MSc), John DeLong (PhD) and Justin Yeakel (Post-doc). It also wouldn't have happened without the patience and dedication of many colleagues, collaborators and friends, and without the sacrifice of my family, who gave me the best gift you can get, an education. Last, but not least, this wouldn't have ever happened without the unyielding support of my amazing spouse, Marie-Claire Chelini.
It's difficult to believe that it's now been 6 years since the publication of my first paper ever, coincidentally, also in AmNat!
Two new papers are coming out now! Both papers are part of my work with Justin Yeakel at UC Merced as a James McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellow in Complex Systems. The first one is in press in Theoretical Ecology and deals with the importance of movement of organisms across landscapes to understand ecological dynamics (a bit of a retrospective work, building upon Levin 74). The second one, explores how eco-evolutionary dynamics may determine important structural aspects of food webs (evolving trophic levels!), and was published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution as an invited contribution to the special issue on Unifying Ecology Across Scales: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities, edited by some of my favorite ecologists: Mary O'Connor, Diego Barneche, Julie Messier, and Angelica Gonzalez. PDFs of both will be available on the publications tab soon.
Last week I accepted a faculty position in the Department of Biology at Duke University. So, starting September 2018, the Gibert lab will be shaping up!
If you're looking for an opportunity to address fundamental and applied questions about predator-prey interactions and food webs, from individuals to ecosystems, using a mixture of theoretical and empirical tools, this might just be your place! Starting now, I will be recruiting motivated and independent grad students that are excited about stepping out of their comfort zone (to boldly go...). I am committed to building a diverse and supportive community where people from all genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds and national origins can feel empowered, comfortable, and, importantly: happy.
If you're interested in talking about possibilities or just want to chat about any of the above, shoot me an email!
In your email, please provide a CV and describe your research interests and experience so I can have a better idea as to how to answer any questions you may have.
My paper on how intraspecific phenotypic variation may determine some structural aspects of food webs (predator connectivity patterns, interaction strengths and trophic level) just got accepted in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences! While this paper has long been in the making, it is the first direct product of my McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellowship, which makes it even more satisfying. I'll have a pdf of the paper in the publications section soon.
Just got a paper accepted in Ecology Letters with John DeLong and my amazing undergrads Rachel Allen and Ron Hruska! It's about how a species of protist, Paramecium bursaria, changes shape, but not size, with changes in environmental conditions and resource availability. As it turns out, those changes have all sorts of ecological effects, from population dynamics, to susceptibility to predation by a predatory copepod. A pdf of the paper will be posted soon in the publications section!
I just got a paper accepted in GCB in collaboration with Marie-Claire Chelini, Malcolm Rosenthal and John DeLong, on the temperature dependence of animal movement and its ecological consequences. We found that animal movement displays regimes of temperature dependence, and crossing these regimes has important implications for their persistence in a context of global warming. Check it out in my publications tab!
Ok, I've been waiting on this one, but I recently was awarded a competitive James S. McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellowship in Complex Systems! This award gives me funding for three years and I can take it anywhere I'd like to.
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Here you will find the latest news about my research. From time to time I will also post a short comment on a paper I loved from a colleague.