Where we work

Coto Brus, Costa Rica

The Coto Brus valley and the Las Cruces Biological Station have been centers for the development and testing of Countryside Biogeography, which seeks to understand the ecological forces that structure communities, and determine range boundaries at the landscape scale. Here we’ve tested whether phylogenetic history predicts how bat species respond to land-use change and intensification, the physiological mechanisms that determine amphibian tolerance of deforestation, and the abilities of private-lands to conserve biodiversity.

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

The Guanacaste peninsula contains a strong precipitation gradient spanning from dry forest in the interior (~1500mm rainfall per year) to moist forest closer to the coast (~3000mm rainfall). Since 2016 in collaboration with the Karp lab we’ve conducted bird abundance surveys along independent land-use and climate gradients to understand how the interaction between these forces shape communities. This work will help forecast non-linearities and synergies for biodiversity under increasing threats from habitat conversion and climate change. See our recent publication from this system: Agriculture erases climate‐driven β‐diversity in Neotropical bird communities

The Caribbean

The islands of the Caribbean act like individual test tubes in a massive evolutionary experiment unfolding over tens of millions of years. We study the Anolis lizards of the Caribbean to understand how adaptive radiation, and convergent evolution inform our understanding of how species respond to Anthropogenic change. Do unrelated lizards on different islands with convergent morphologies repeatedly propser in human habitats? Or is tolerance to anthropogenic change phylogenetically conserved, even when other aspects of species ecologies are not? Since 2016 we’ve been conducting mark-resight surveys of Anolis lizard communities, spanning climate gradients from lowland to highland, wet to dry, hot to cold, and land-use gradients from pristine to highly disturbed. This project will help address the prevalence of convergent pre-adaptation to anthropogenic change.