Lecture: Quantifying and interpreting the ‘internal structure’ of diverse lake metacommunities in complex landscapes
Dr. Mathew Leibold is a professor in the Department of Biology, University of Florida, in the United States of America. He is a highly recognized scientist owing to his outstanding contributions to the niche theory and the development of the metacommunity concept, among others. Leibold’s articles and books on metacommunity ecology and evolving metacommunities, the niche concept and on the role of spatial dynamics in aquatic food webs have revolutionized the field of modern community ecology. For example, the Leibold et al. (2004) synthesis paper on metacommunity ecology has been cited more than 3000 times as of date. Some recent contributions include the role of spatial processes and community assembly in driving ecosystem functioning (the CAFE approach) and ecosystem stability. He is also interested in understanding how evolutionary processes influence biodiversity patterns across spatial scales. To do so, he investigates the link between metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics, using mainly Daphnia as a model species and ponds or shallow lakes as model systems. His research often combines several approaches, such as field observations, indoor and outdoor experiments as well as modelling.