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The study of biodiversity has historically been conducted within two disciplines, with community ecologists addressing the mechanisms that maintain diversity and evolutionary biologists addressing speciation and adaptation. The goal of my research has been to explore the intersection of these ecological and evolutionary frameworks. I express this goal in two fundamental questions:
- How have ecological interactions influenced mechanisms and rates of diversification?
- How have historical patterns of diversification influenced current species interactions?
A better understanding of diversity thus requires the application of both evolutionary and ecological methods. My research has focused on host- or habitat-association as a central factor in mediating the interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes in natural communities of arthropods, including North American damselfly species, and gallmaking communities of flies and wasps.