Theoretical and Empirical Microbial and Plankton Ecology
Welcome to the Litchman-Klausmeier lab! We study microbial, freshwater and marine phytoplankton ecology, using a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches such as analytical and simulation modeling, laboratory experiments, field sampling, and long-term and large-scale data analysis. We are part of Michigan State University's Kellogg Biological Station, as well as the Departments of Plant Biology and Integrative Biology and the interdepartmental Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior.
We are interested in answering fundamental questions of community ecology such as what determines community composition and species diversity and how ecological communities would re-organize under anthropogenic global change. We use plankton and other microbes as a model system, as these organisms have high population densities, short generation times and easily measurable traits that define their ecological niches.
At the same time, plankton are key component of most aquatic ecosystems that shape trophic interactions, biogeochemical processes and ecosystem services. Understanding plankton population and community dynamics will help us understand how diverse aquatic ecosystems, from ponds and lakes to the ocean, function.
Last updated: December 6, 2016