Ecological communities often vary in composition along environmental gradients and a fundamental goal in ecology is to determine the mechanisms responsible for limiting species distributions. Studies of species distributions can generate hypotheses about their attributes that allow for their success in within certain environments. Freshwater ponds are an excellent system to understand species sorting along habitat gradients; the ecological communities exhibit strong patterns in species composition in response to the environmental gradients, which include pond size, disturbance regime, and productivity. Most studies of species inhabiting lentic water bodies often attribute their distribution in response to pond permanence and their response to the constraints of pond drying and/or predation. Larval amphibians have contributed greatly to our understanding of factors affecting species richness across environmental gradients.
My current research interests include the disciplines of community, aquatic, and tropical ecology. My dissertation research is focusing on understanding the mechanisms contributing to the structure and dynamics of the pond communities of the Bolivian Gran Chaco. Using the tadpole community in the Bolivian Gran Chaco, my research aims to disentangle the roles of abiotic and biotic factors in structuring these pond communities. I am also working on projects associated with the fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages in this region as well.