Dr. Brian D. Inouye
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Ph.D., Duke University, 1998
Graduate faculty status
Research and Professional Interests:
At each level of organization, from genes to species to communities, one of the most exciting aspects of biology is diversity. Why do some communities consist of so many species, when others are dominated by just a few? The central goal of my research program is to join theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding how species coexist. In particular, I am interested in how spatial and temporal variation in species interactions influence population dynamics, patterns of community structure, and coexistence. Making connections between data and theory requires use of mathematical models, knowledge of experimental design and statistical analysis, and an appreciation of natural history. I am excited about and involved in research in each of these areas. The empirical side of my research program generally involves insect communities, focusing on community modules of tightly interacting species. Insects are ecologically and economically important and fantastically diverse, and most insect species are amenable to experimental manipulations.
My current research projects include (1) competition-coexistence trade-offs in a tropical ant-plant system, (2) experiments on effects of resource heterogeneity for host-parasitoid interactions, (3) collaborative work with Nora Underwood and postdoc Kurt Anderson on the spatial ecology of plant-herbivore interactions, and (4) the community ecology of cynipid gall-wasps on oak trees and their parasitoids.Selected Publications:
Hughes, A. R., B. D. Inouye, M. Johnson, N. Underwood, and M. Vellend. 2008. Ecological consequences of genetic diversity. Ecology Letters 11: 609–623.
Freestone, A. L., and B. D. Inouye. 2006. Dispersal limitation and environmental heterogeneity shape scale-dependent diversity patterns in plant communities. Ecology 87: 2425–2432.
Davies K. F., P. Chesson, S. Harrison, B. D. Inouye, B. A. Melbourne, and K. J. Rice. 2005. Spatial heterogeneity explains the scale dependence of the native-exotic diversity relationship. Ecology 86: 1602–1610.
Inouye, B. D. 2005. Scaling up from local interactions to regional coexistence across two scales of spatial heterogeneity: Insect larvae in the fruits of Apeiba membranacea. Oecologia 145: 188–196.
Underwood, N., P. Hambäck, and B. D. Inouye. 2005. Large-scale questions and small-scale data: empirical and theoretical methods for scaling-up in ecology. Oecologia 145: 177–178.
Inouye, B. D. 2005. The importance of the variance around the mean effect size of ecological processes: comment. Ecology 86: 262–265. full text as PDF
Inouye, B. D., and A. A. Agrawal. 2004. Ant mutualists alter the composition and attack rate of the parasitoid community for the gall wasp Disholcaspis eldoradensis (Cynipidae). Ecological Entomology 29: 692–696. full text as PDF