I use theoretical ecology to study food webs in order to help design equitable, efficient, and sustainable economic and political systems.

I am fascinated by systems; how they function, what structures them, and what causes them to fail. My favourite systems are ecological systems and my specific research focus is ecological food webs. However, I see myself as highly interdisciniplinary and am interested in the intersection of ecology with evolution, politics, and economics. My main research tool is mathematical modelling, but I also collaborate with empiricists regularly.

Postdoctoral Researcher - Grasselli and Wolkowicz Research Groups, McMaster University

In this postdoctoral position, I am comparing economic systems with ecological systems focusing on energy flows and time delays.

PhD - McCann Laboratory, University of Guelph

Completed September 2023

For my PhD, I examined the resilence of different systems. First, I examined how life history mediates the non-linear mechanism of ratchet effects to amplify variability. I mathematically manipulated the life history of a consumer in a consumer-resource model and added white to red noise perturbations to the consumer’s biomass. I found that slowing the consumer’s life history initially muted variability but when the ratchet effects take hold, variability gets highly amplified. Second, I examined how an economic tipping point (relative profits) impacted the amplification of reddening environmental variability by positive feedbacks and time delays in crop farms. I found that increasing the relative profit of crop farms generally reduced the amplification of reddening environmental variability. Third, I examined how network restructuring in gut bacteria via a bacteriophage genetic reservoir impacted variability. I found that bacteriophage acted as a genetic reservoir to maintain variability and in turn ensure stable gut function.

M.Sc - McCann Laboratory, University of Guelph

Completed August 2018

For my MSc, I quantified the interactions between parasitoids, spruce budworm and other caterpillars in New Brunswick. I found that the parasitoid community exhibited a coherent and indisciminate response to changing relative abundances of spruce budworm and other caterpillars on balsam fir. Furthermore, there was a strong suggestion that the parasitoid community attacks other caterpillars on hardwood trees when spruce budworm are rare.