In much of our work we investigate the functional ecology and ecological strategies of plants – the “how and why” of differences among species in their structural, chemical and physiological traits – and the implications of this variation for larger-scale processes. For this we use a variety of approaches, ranging from fine-scale anatomical or physiological studies to global-scale analyses of trait variation, to developing and testing optimality-based theory for plant function. We run fieldwork in a variety of systems, from the wet tropics to temperate woodlands to the arid zone.
In current projects we also are quantifying tradeoffs between phosphorus allocation to different functions in leaves; biogeographic patterns in the Australian flora; global patterns in leaf anatomy; the genetic basis of shade tolerance/intolerance; and investigating the ecological effects of megapode birds on seedling establishment in cool temperate rainforests.
We like to use a variety of approaches to ask all sorts of interesting ecological questions!