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University of Connecticut Mark Urban
Eco-Evolution in Space

Research Interests

Across natural landscapes, the local dynamics of community interactions can be shaped both by local conditions and by migration from nearby communities. At the same time, local adaptation and maladaptation due to regional gene flow can alter the outcome of species interactions. My research focuses on this interface between migration-niche-partitioning and migration-selection dynamics in a regional context. This research seeks to answer fundamental questions about how migration and gene flow across heterogeneous landscapes shape local species interactions, patterns of community diversity and structure, the evolutionary divergence of interacting populations, the invasion success of introduced species, and responses of communities to disturbance. Most of my work focuses on aquatic systems, which are ideal systems in which to study these questions because of their patchy distribution across natural landscapes.

I apply a variety of approaches to address these questions, including old-fashioned field work, experiments performed across a variety of scales, and theoretical models ranging in complexity from simple analytical models to complex individual-based simulations.

For more information regarding specific projects, click the buttons on the right.