the lab together

As a lab, we rarely are all assembled in the same place: usually, at least a few of us are off in the field. This week marks the end of a brief period of togetherness, as Angie and Virginia have returned from the field, and Robin and I have not yet left.
This provided an interesting opportunity last week when Andy Gonzalez, from McGill university, asked us “What serves as the overall theoretical framework for all the work in your lab?”.

We looked around the room at each other.  We started describing the things we all have in common: we all study food webs, and we all have some kind of spatial angle to our work.  But what do food webs look like across space?  How do we place food web theory into spatial, or metacommunity theory, to predict what we should be measuring or how we should be sampling?  Dr. Gonzalez has recently written a paper on the subject: “Metacommunity theory explains the emergence of food web complexity”

None of us have read this paper yet, but if it is relevant to anyone it is relevant to the Srivastava Lab, since we are, all of us, studying food webs in spatial environments!  We’re looking forward to tackling it together in the new year!