Current Lab Members

Mike Palmer

Vaskar Thapa

Mathew Allen

Leticia Dadalt

Kelly Derennaux

Channing Richardson

Pete Earls

Sue McAlister

Recent Lab Members

Dan McGlinn

Wyatt Sharber

Eahsan Shahriary

Fumiko Shirakura

Shyam Thomas

María Carmen Cobo

José Ramón Arévalo

Kiyoshi Sasaki

Ray Moranz

 

Vision Statement

LIBRA, or the Laboratory for Innovative Biodiversity Research and Analysis, is dedicated towards the understanding and protection of biological diversity.

By using a symbol of the zodiac as our logo, we are not implying an astrological influence to our work (though inspiration from all sources is welcome) but we are stressing the importance of balance. We seek a balance between realism and abstraction, theory and application, fine scale and broad scale. We also seek a balanced representation of human diversity in our discipline. We reject the use of the term "balance" to refer to a supposed opposition between humans and nature. Indeed, we are fascinated by the role cultural landscapes can play in the preservation of diversity. We also reject the assumption of a 'balance of nature', although we recognize that all real systems are comprised of a combination of negative (stabilizing) and positive (disruptive) feedback loops.

These are exciting times for biodiversity theory. New developments such as the Unified Neutral Theory and Metabolic Ecology seem to offer challenges to classical thinking. The relevance of small-scale experimental manipulations for broad-scale biodiversity issues is increasingly questioned. Unfortunately, basic natural history is often divorced from recent theoretical discussions, leading to miscommunication and, ultimately, poor science. LIBRA is devoted to putting natural history on center stage, but keeping it in the context of modern ecological thought.

 

 

Projects

LIHD Biofuels Blog

Biofuels for Biodiversity: choosing a sustainable energy future

Research on the Crosstimbers of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve (link to a summary poster)

The Floras of North America project

Species-area and species-time relationships of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

Fire history and forest dynamics of a tornado damaged crosstimbers forest

Effect of mowing on small-scale grassland diversity

Forest dynamics after a major wind-throw event in Minnesota

Simulation study of hump-shaped diversity-productivity relationship