I am a physiological ecologist who focuses on how human-plant-insect interactions affect the sustainability of agricultural systems. My current focus is on locust outbreaks and plasticity in response to rangeland management practices in China, Australia, and Africa. I am leading a team of biologists, economists, and social scientists, funded by the NSF CNH program, to investigate the interactions among human behavior, market forces, and ecological systems in situations in which human decisions to overstock and overgraze rangeland alter plant nutrient content, increasing the likelihood of locust outbreaks. Long-term, my goal is to improve sustainable ecosystem management and local livelihoods by linking fundamental research on insect physiology and ecology with economic models and policy.
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