Dr. Katriona Shea

Professor of Biology and Alumni Professor in the Biological Sciences

Department:  Biology
College:  Eberly College of Science
Address:  208 Mueller Laboratory
Phone:  814-865-7910
E-mail: k-shea@psu.edu
Website: http://kshealab.wordpress.com/

Community ecology of disturbance
Disturbances (hurricanes, forest fires, droughts, epidemics, etc.) are ubiquitous in nature, and have profound effects on ecosystems. In this lab we study the impact of different facets of disturbance on the structure of communities of organisms. For example, how does disturbance change interactions between different species? Does disturbance make a community vulnerable to invasive species, and if so, how? Do populations evolve resistance to disturbance and to invasions? These questions address important issues in our changing environment, but also provide insights into the natural laws structuring ecological communities. The lab employs various methods such as experiments, field work, and computer simulations, on diverse systems including microbes and plants. Students will get exposure to various approaches in ecology, and may design and carry out their own independent projects if interested.