Dr. Edwin Lebrija-Trejos
Department of Biology and Environment
We are broadly interested in how species adaptations determine their performance, their interactions with the abiotic and biotic environment and, subsequently, in how these relationships determine community dynamics, structure and function. Our research encompass undisturbed and human-modified ecosystems focusing on both basic and applied goals. Some of the fundamental questions guiding our research are: How do species vary in their functional adaptations and ecological strategies? How do they sort in a community according to the interplay between biotic and abiotic interactions? How does such sorting affect biological interactions and species performance? And how do differences in performance affect the structure and functioning of communities? To attain novel insights into such questions, we combine extensive field and experimental studies of functional adaptations, plant performance and species dynamics with basic and cutting-edge statistical tools. Ultimately, we seek to advance the knowledge of the mechanisms behind (often) seemingly idiosyncratic patterns of plant performance and community dynamics. Such patterns pose a challenge to the construction and applicability of ecological theories and, ultimately, to our ability to sustainably manage and predict the future of vegetation systems.