Hi! I'm Robert and I'm an ecologist

and I study how living things move nutrients through ecosystems

Affiliation & Research Summary

NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow
Western University
Curriculum vitae

My research focuses on the role animals, plants, and microorganisms play in the movement or cycling of elements through ecosystems. I work to add new ecological dynamics into nutrient cycling models using a combination of mathematical theory and experiments. My work documents how the interactions between animals, plants, and microorganisms change each other's relationship with nutrient cycles. My goal is to improve our response to changes in the dynamics of chemical elements or changes in the organisms in an ecosystem.

Current Research Projects

Nutrient limitation

I am working to develop better ways of measuring the nutrient that is limiting the growth of organisms.

Herbivore - Decomposer Feedbacks

I am working to understand how animals that eat plants (herbivores) and animals that eat decomposing matter (detritivores) impact ecosystems.

Moose in Atlantic Canada

Moose are an important species in Atlantic Canada to people and ecosystems. I am working with ecologists and economists to understand their importance.

Microbes in Ecosystem Models

I am working with soil scientists, ecologists, and ecosystem modelers to improve how we model microbes and soil animals.

Decomposer Natural History

I am surveying the abundance and studying the lives of some common decomposers.

Behavioural Interactions

I am studying how animals change their behaviour in each other's presence.

Fear of Predation in Decomposers

Many animals experience fear in the presence of a predator and we are looking to see how this impacts detritivores (animals that eat dead things).

Theory in Coupled Ecosystems

I am using models of carbon and nitrogen cycling to test how animals influence whole-ecosystem nutrient cycling.