My main research interest is to explain patterns in biodiversity: Why are there more species in some places than others? I'm also interested in human impacts on ecosystems, such as climate change and hydropower, and ways to restore degraded ecosystems. My research has two major themes: (1) The evolutionary consequences of climatic fluctuations in the past, and the implications of such climatic shifts for macroecological patterns, and (2) the ecology of plant communities.
The Earth is subject to climatic shifts occurring on time-scales of thousands to hundreds of thousand years caused by periodical changes in Earth's orbit. Climatic shifts affect the probability of survival and divergence of gene pools, and geographical variation in the magnitude of climatic shifts may cause a range of biological phenomena, such as global patterns in diversification, range-sizes and characteristics of species. I study these issues together with Mats Dynesius. In addition, I study a range of issues related to plant communities, such as the effects of climate change, the spread of invasive species and the importance of dispersal in structuring species composition. I also study ecological effects of damming and water-level regulation, and methods to restore stream ecosystems.
Scientific editor for the ecology section of Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (Wiley)
I'm course co-ordinator for the advanced level course in Conservation Biology. I also teach plant and community ecology, such as the ecology of aquatic plants.