Community ecology, macro-ecology and biological invasions
My research includes the fields of community ecology, macro-ecology and biological invasions. My research interests include investigations into the factors that limit species distributions and in predicting potential distributions of species using species distribution models. These models make use of distribution records and environmental predictor variables to derive species-environment relationships that are used to predict the potential distribution of individual species. I am interested in applying these models to conservation problems and for understanding risks associated with biological invasions. Related to this I am interested in how insect diversity changes across environmental gradients and as a result of disturbance, particularly due to plant invasions. I have a particular interest in ants as they are useful indicator species for understanding changes in ecosystems. I am currently involved in a long-term study of ant diversity across an elevational gradient in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains.