Natural History, Biogeography, Floristics, Species Invasions, and Conservation
In the Marsico lab we are interested in the causes and consequences of ecological community assembly, species invasions, and how species can be conserved in a world undergoing rapid environmental change. We focus on how evolutionary history impacts the ecological interactions of native and introduced organisms. We make and utilize plant collections and deposited vouchers in specimen-based research to answer questions about biodiversity patterns along environmental gradients and invasion, with a goal of improving conservation priorities and land management strategies. Additional research includes development of improved teaching strategies and assessment of student learning gains. Students in the laboratory have studied a range of topics including plant defense ecology and secondary defense compounds elicited by moth herbivory, causes and consequences of Chinese privet invasion in riparian areas, impacts of water quality and land use on swamp diatom communities, and digitization of natural history collections to make available important resources for the study of evolutionary and ecological questions. Please see more details regarding research on the "publications" and "people" pages.