Professor, Chair of Faculty and V. P. for Science, Santa Fe Institute
Co-Director, Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab
Jennifer received a Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley in 2000, held a NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biological Informatics from 2000-2002, co-founded the Pacific Ecoinformatics & Computational Ecology Lab in 2004, and joined the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute in 2007.
My research interests are in analysis, modeling, and theory related to the organization, dynamics, and function of complex species interactions. Much of this work focuses on trophic interactions, which provide the basic architecture for the flow of energy and resources in ecosystems and thus play a central role in ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Drawing on cross-system analysis and computational modeling, my collaborators and I seek to identify fundamental patterns and principles of ecological network structure and dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Such research provides a useful framework for understanding the coexistence of species and the robustness, persistence, and stability of ecosystems given endogenous and exogenous effects.
To move beyond a narrow focus on extant ecosystems and charismatic plants and animals, I am extending the scope and impact of this research agenda through interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers from fields such as archaeology, art, computer science, economics, evolutionary theory, microbiology, paleobiology, parasitology, physics, and social science. In addition to basic research, my colleagues and I are developing new ecoinformatic technologies to facilitate sharing, synthesis, visualization, analysis, and modeling of information related to biocomplexity research. For more information, go to www.foodwebs.org.