I am interested in a range of ecological questions in the area of vegetation dynamics, with a focus on the role of disturbance, herbivory and resource limitation in structuring plant communities. I work in savanna systems and much of my research is devoted to understanding the drivers and consequences of variation in tree cover.
Some current research questions include: 1) What are the key stages and mechanisms of tree recruitment limitation in savannas? 2) How does partitioning and use of soil moisture among species influence tree communities and vegetation structure? 3) How does interspecific variation in tree functional traits across edaphic and climatic gradients affect community assembly processes in African savannas? My students and I use both theoretical and empirical tools to tackle these questions, including simulation and statistical modeling, field and greenhouse experiments and remote sensing approaches.