Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The research in Alexander S. Flecker’s lab is at the interface between community and ecosystem ecology and aims to understand the functional significance of biodiversity. Much of the research focuses on stream ecosystems in both the tropics and temperate zone, addressing questions pertaining to the importance of species diversity and identity for ecosystem functioning. Flecker’s research team has found that species that engineer their physical and chemical environments can be particularly important drivers of ecosystem structure and function. A further research theme is to use trait-based approaches for understanding the relative vulnerability of species to climate change in tropical versus temperate riverine systems.
The research team is especially interested in placing their work in the context of ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss due to factors such as overharvest and habitat destruction, or species additions via invasions. Part of this research has an international focus, especially in freshwater ecosystems of South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean.