The Burkepile Lab - Welcome to 'The Pile'!

The unifying theme of our lab's research is to identify how alterations to trophic interactions and ecosystem productivity affect community structure and ecosystem function.  Our research program employs an interdisciplinary program of field and lab experiments, behavioral observations, synthetic statistical analyses, and natural products chemistry to address trophic interactions from a variety of perspectives from large-scale patterns to small-scale mechanisms.  Although most of our work has been in marine ecosystems (coral reefs, temperate reefs, and estuaries), we have branched out to terrestrial ecosystems (South African savanna grasslands, North American tall grass prairie, and North American hardwood forests) to examine the role of herbivore size in driving community structure, the interactions between herbivory and productivity in structuring plant communities, and the impact of climate change on plant-herbivore interactions.