In our research, we seek to (1) understand the structure and dynamics of mutualistic (mutually beneficial) interactions in ecological communities, (2) clarify how rapid human-caused environmental change is affecting these interactions and biodiversity more generally, (3) assess threats to biodiversity and identify spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation at local to global scales, and (4) develop viable, science-based strategies for biodiversity conservation in collaboration with local stakeholders.

In our ecological research we apply community and behavioral ecological theory to the study of vertebrate frugivores (fruit-eating primates, birds, and fruit bats) and trees in tropical forests.  Our conservation biology research combines ecological and social science theory and methods, spatial analysis, and statistical approaches to understand major and emerging threats to biodiversity (including land use change, climate change, and emerging diseases) and to develop strategies for biodiversity conservation.  Most of our work focuses on sub-Saharan Africa (especially Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, and Benin) and eastern North America.