Conservation biology
We live in an era coined the anthropocene, in which human activities have greatly modified the biosphere. These changes affect biodiversity and the ability of Earth to support human societies. We are working on combining models, experiments, and fieldwork to understand the dynamics of coupled human-ecological systems. This includes understanding the processes of population decline and the role of ecosystems in supporting human communities. It also involves engaging with NGOs, government, industries, and other stakeholders in contributing to the development of policy and management.

Infectious diseases
Infectious diseases play an obvious role in public health, but are also a major factor in important issues of sustainability such as biodiversity conservation, food security, and economic prosperity. The processes of disease transmission are fundamentally ecological, involving aspects of animal behaviour, predator-prey interactions, dispersal, and population dynamics. We are studying these processes using mathematical models, experimental populations in the lab, and fieldwork with salmon (both wild and domesticated).

Pacific salmon
Pacific salmon stocks exhibit enormous fluctuations in abundance throughout their range, and some highly valued stocks have declined in recent decades. By combining mathematical models and fisheries data we are working on understanding the patterns and processes of Pacific salmon population dynamics. These include cyclical dynamics of pink and sockeye salmon, meta-population dynamics, relationships between productivity and variability, and quantifying the factors that contribute to population decline.

Population dynamics
Fluctuations in the abundance of animal populations have long fascinated ecologists. Population fluctuations are likely shaped by a myriad of ecological processes, which can be grouped into three categories: stochasticity (random processes like weather fluctuations), nonlinear dynamics (strong ecological interactions like predation), and non-stationarity (changes through time in biological or physical context like climate change). We are studying how these processes interact to affect ecological changes like regime shifts, population cycles, and extinction.

U of T