Blog Special Issue: Early Career Researchers (Part 3)

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Biodiversity and plant functional traits

Connor Fitzpatrick’s video podcast: Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity and plant–soil feedbacks

Connor is a plant ecologist who got his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. He studies the ecological and evolutionary importance of interactions between plants and soil and focuses on how variation within and among plant species can shape soil environments and how soil, in turn, can shape plant populations and communities. Connor is currently postdoc at the University of North Carolina.       

Julia Chacón-Labella’s video podcast: Evidence for a Stochastic Geometry of Biodiversity

Julia Chacón-Labella is a community ecologist and her research is mainly focused on understanding the processes that maintain diversity and promote coexistence in species-rich communities with a main focus in arid and semi-arid shrublands. Julia is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria in the Department of Environment (Spain).

Courtney Stepien’s video podcast: Carbon use patterns in marine macrophytes

Courtney Stepien obtained her PhD from the University of Chicago, supervised by Dr. Catherine Pfister. Courtney’s research explores the roles of evolutionary history and functional diversity in coastal communities, and the response of such communities to disturbance along environmental gradients. More particularly, she is studying carbon uptake by seaweeds, which are the principal actors of carbon cycling in the nearshore coastal areas. 

Julie Messier’s video podcast: Plant trait dimensions: the phenotype as an integrated network

Julie Messier is an empirical plant ecologist interested in the causes and consequences of trait variation and integration across biological scales (from within individuals to among communities). Her research aims to uncover general principles governing patterns of phenotypic diversity. She is broadly interested in questions at the intersection of the topics of plant physiology, scaling, functional straits, complexity, phenotypic integration and community ecology. Julie is now an Assistant Professor in the department of Biology at the University of Waterloo.

Marc-Olivier Martin-Guay’s video podcast: Impact of belowground biomass responses on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship

Marc-Olivier Martin-Guay is a plant ecologist who worked mainly on the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. He first worked on a tree diversity experiment from the International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees (IDENT) as part of his master’s degree, but he also worked on a meta-analysis characterizing the effects of crop species diversity. He is currently a research professional at Université du Québec à Montréal.

Xiaojuan Liu’s video podcast: Growth-trait relationships depend on species richness in subtropical forest

Xiaojuan Liu is a forest ecologist with a strong interest in forest biodiversity. Her recent work is focused on using plant functional traits to understand forest community assembly and biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in subtropical forest. She is currently an Associate Professor of Ecology at the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Alissa Brown’s video podcast: Plant traits and mycorrhizae mediate Janzen-Connell effect in tree saplings

Alissa Brown is a forest ecologist who recently finished her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her Ph.D. work focused on tree recruitment patterns in temperate forests, looking for evidence of conspecific negative density dependence. Alissa begins her post-doctoral work at the Morton Arboretum in the summer of 2019, where she will investigate changes in North American tree distributions after the last glacial maximum.


Have a look at Blog Special Issue: Early Career Researchers – Part 1Part 2

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