I am an applied and theoretical ecologist interested in biological diversity and asking questions about patterns in the distribution and abundance of species. The overarching aim of my work is to understand the forces that organize heterogeneous ecological systems, and to apply this understanding to help inform conservation policy and management decisions. I use interdisciplinary approaches at the interface of microbiology, ecology, mathematics, informatics, and computer science. Current systems of study include soil microbial communities in marine, alpine and mediterranean systems. Specific attention has been directed to exploring patterns and principles that may be common to microbes, plants and animals.