Community Ecology

Meet the Foster Lab!


Bryan L. Foster
Professor
phone: 785.864.3346
email: bfoster@ku.edu
Curriculum vitae

Research in my lab explores how ecological communities assemble, function and respond to environmental change. We conduct our research in native prairies, savannas, restored grasslands and abandoned agricultural fields and study a variety of organisms including plants, arthropods, small mammals and soil microorganisms. Our work is accomplished through the use of observational studies, field experiments and modeling approaches.


David Hall
Graduate Student (PhD candidate)
phone: 785.864.1531
email: d460h434@ku.edu

Plant community assembly; prairie restoration; biological invasions

 


Kathy Denning
Graduate Student (PhD candidate)
phone: 785.864.1531
email: rocca@ku.edu
Curriculum vitae

Broadly, I am interested in conducting research that both furthers our understanding of plant community ecology and plant-pollinator interactions, and that has concrete conservation implications in tallgrass prairies. Right now, I am developing research projects that will address the following questions: 1) to what extent do prairie restorations succeed in reinstating the plant-pollinator interactions that are key to the provision of pollination services, 2) at what spatial scales does land use intensity impact plant-pollinator interactions in tallgrass prairies, and 3) what role does community assembly history play in structuring prairie plant communities? In my spare time, I enjoy photographing native orchids and drinking Diet Coke.


Jeremy Fosythe
Graduate Student (MS student)
phone: 785.864.1531
email: jforsythe12@gmail.com

Jeremy is using long-term tree census data to investigate over 30 years of forest dynamics in mature and secondary hardwood forests.

 

 


Sheena Parsons
Research Technician
phone: 785.864.1531
email: sheenap@ku.edu
Curriculum vitae

I grew up moving around and suspect that may be one of the reasons why I find broad geographic patterns and landscape influences on organisms so intriguing. For my graduate research I examined adaptive mechanisms controlling grasshopper performance along a latitudinal gradient using a mixed feeder grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrbrum) in a common garden design. It was fascinating to see how these little organisms are able to modify their behavior, strategies, processes to survive in such varying environments. Although I have an entomological background, and admittedly formerly viewed plants as habitat and food for insects and other animals, I am very much enjoying my time in Bryan's lab learning more about plant communities similar to those I have encountered as I've hunted bugs.

 

Former Lab Members

Todd Aschenbach

Cathy Collins

Alex Bittel

Tim  Dickson

Irene Khavin

Cheryl Murphy

Erin Questad

 


Latest Reasearch

Local and regional-scale processes interact to govern the assembly, diversity and functioning of ecological communities. Evaluating the interplay of these...
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