Quantitative Ecological Dynamics (QED) Group
Life & Environmental Science | UC Merced
W e are a diverse group of ecologists and evolutionary biologists who investigate how individuals, populations, and communities function using a combination of theory, statistical approaches, and sometimes even data. The questions that we investigate range from understanding how food webs are structured and function over large temporal and spatial scales, to what rodents eat and why, to uncovering energetic thresholds constraining mammalian body size evolution, to predicting when crickets should lose their chirp, to exploring the effects of assembly and ecological engineers on evolving communities, to predicting behavioral transitions among mammalian carnivores. While our interests are varied, we aim to apply simple models in mature ways to uncover the fundamental processes governing the dynamics of eco-evolutionary systems over contemporary and paleontological timescales.
\(\oint\) News & Updates
- 12/02/22: Our new preprint! On the dynamics of mortality and the ephemeral nature of mammalian megafauna
- 11/28/22: Check out this new review on A Bioenergetic Framework for Aboveground Terrestrial Food Webs in Trends in Ecology and Evolution that emerged from a working group at UC Davis led by Fernanda Valdovinos and Kayla Sale-Hale!
- 09/06/22: Two new preprints led by graduate student Megha Suswaram – one where we explore the evolution of signaling/silence among species using acoustic communication to find/assess potential mates, and one where we explore the effect of parasitism on the evolution of signaling/silence!
- 05/26/22: New paper exploring an interesting way to investigate distributions of fossil shark teeth in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: Decoding the dynamics of dental distributions: insights from shark demography and dispersal
- 08/15/21: Congratulations to Ritwika VPS for successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis!
- 07/03/20: New paper on the role of ecosystem engineers in ecological networks, published in Nature Communications: Diverse interactions and ecosystem engineering can stabilize community assembly
- 06/18/20: New paper on the caching strategies of rodent foragers in the American Southwest, published in American Naturalist: Caching in or falling back at the sevilleta: The effects of body size and seasonal uncertainty on desert rodent foraging
- 01/21/20: New paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on life history and the evolution of grazing! Led by postdoctoral fellow Uttam Bhat!
- 08/09/19: Ecological engineers in networks! Check out our new preprint in ArXiv: Diverse interactions and ecosystem engineering stabilize community assembly
- 07/16/19: New Preprint with Seth Newsome and Uttam Bhat as coauthors where we explore the foraging strategies of caching rodents in the American southwest. Caching in or falling back in the Sevilleta
- 05/04/19: New Preprint with Uttam Bhat as lead! May the fourth be with us! Scaling of the risk landscape drives optimal life history strategies and the evolution of grazing.
- 02/19/19: Another paper out led by J.P. Gibert: Eco-Evolutionary Origins of Diverse Abundance, Biomass, and Trophic Structures in Food Webs in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution!
- 01/25/19: New paper on incorporating space into models of ecological interactions by recent postdoctoral fellow J.P. Gibert (now at Duke)! From Laplacian matrices to Turing bifurcations @ Theoretical Ecology. A link to the pdf.
- 04/02/18: Our contribution to the themed issue on Collective Movement has come out in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences! We explore the eco-evolutionary impacts of collective movement in salmonid populations. Check it out here.
- 02/13/18: Excited to annouce our new paper in Nature Communications: Dynamics of starvation and recovery predict extinction risk and both Damuth’s law and Cope’s rule
- 10/18/17: Check out our new paper at bioaRxiv on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of salmon populations
- 08/21/17: Uttam Bhat joins us as a postdoctoral researcher in the EcoDynamics Lab!
- 02/08/16: We are looking for a Postdoctoral researcher to model foraging dynamics of small mammal communities in the Sevilleta LTER, New Mexico. Based at UC Merced, but in collaboration with the LTER team at University of New Mexico. Check out the full add here
- 10/28/16: Excited to announce a new article co-authored with Nate Dominy on Frankenstein and the horrors of competitive exclusion in BioScience just in time for Halloween
- 09/16/16: Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics made available the preprint to our paper titled Characterizing Species Interactions to Understand Press Perturbations: What Is the Community Matrix? led by the illustrious Mark Novak!
- 09/01/16: Excited to announce a new manuscript on ArXiv: The dynamics of starvation and recovery, with coauthors Chris Kempes and Sid Redner. This one’s a labor of love…
- 08/25/16: We are excited to welcome Jean Philippe Gibert (McDonnell postdoctoral fellow) and Taran Rallings (Graduate student, QSB) into the lab. Welcome!
- 04/25/16: Jack Hopkins officially joins us to work on stable isotopes, shifting niches, and dynamic diets… welcome Jack!
- 04/22/16: Paper published in Interface Focus on integrating sensory information among Chimpanzees! Check it out here
- Starting 1/1/16: The Quantitative EcoDynamics (QED) group will be opening in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California, Merced. Join us in the Gateway to Yosemite: Undergraduate and Graduate positions available! see lab flyer
- 02/08/16: Paper published in Frontiers of Ecology and Evolution on the isotopic niche. Find it open access on the Frontiers website.
- 11/11/15: A radio interview for Cafe Radio on KSFR 101.1… Listen here
- 11/07/15: A new paper in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution on using Oxygen stable isotopes to explore ecological niches: Crowley et al. Do oxygen isotope values in collagen reflect the ecology and physiology of neotropical mammals?
- 10/12/15: A new paper on the isotopic niche in ArXiv with collaborators Uttam Bhat, Emma Elliott Smith, and Seth Newsome. This paper is submitted to Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution for a special issue on stable isotopes and food webs.
- 7/10/15: Our Egypt work was summarized in the July issue of National Geographic magazine!
- 4/15/15: A new article in American Scientist with Jennifer Dunne: Modern lessons from ancient food webs pdf; cover
- 1/20/15: A rebuttal to our Egypt paper, a note documenting similar patterns in the Levant, and our response in PNAS.
- 09/09/14: We recently published a paper documenting changes to the Egyptian mammalian food web over the last 6000 years in PNAS. Check out a post on the paper, as well as links to news coverage and a cool infographic here