Ecological Systems

The central focus of our research and education is on integrative ecology: we do field, experimental, and theoretical work. We develop quantitative tools and combine them with field and lab experiments to increase our understanding about the functioning of ecosystem services and the maintenance of biodiversity. We investigate the intricate relationship between environmental conditions and living organisms, ranging from individuals to entire ecological communities.

Key areas include:

  • Community ecology
  • Mathematical/quantitative ecology
  • Microbiomes
  • Ecological networks
  • Terrestrial ecology


Penny Chisholm:
The global genetic repertoire of Prochlorococcus

Prochlorococcus is the smallest and most abundant photosynthetic cell on Earth. This tiny cyanobacterium dominates open ocean ecosystems, largely through the extraordinary cell-to-cell diversity found within the population. The goal of this project in Professor Chisholm’s laboratory is to describe the complete genetic inventory of the Prochlorococcus ‘collective’ in the global oceans and understand the ecological and evolutionary drivers that shape it.