We use experiments, meta-analyses, and mathematical models to understand how organismal movement (e.g. dispersal) affects the dynamics of food webs. Ecologists still know surprisingly little about how food webs develop, fluctuate, and respond to external forcing. This is due, in part, to a lack of data, but also to a lack of theory explicitly relating food web structure and dynamics to the process of organismal movement. We take the view that movement of organisms is at the core of ecological dynamics. Rather than a hindrance, we see movement as a powerful lens through which to study ecological systems.
Some specific topics are:
Topology and flux structures of assembling food webs (experimental work with Ashkaan Fahimipour)
Global gradients of food web structure (empirical/theoretical work with Adrian Stier, Michel Kulbicki and Valeriano Parravicini)
Transient dynamics in spatially structured food webs
Papers in this area are:
Stier*, A C ,A M Hein*, V Parravicini, and M Kulbicki. 2014. Larval dispersal drives trophic structure across Pacific coral reefs. Nature Communications (*co-corresponding author with Adrian Stier).
Fahimipour, A and A M Hein. 2014. The dynamics of assembling food webs. Ecology Letters.
Hein, A M and J F Gillooly. 2011. Predators, prey, and transient states in the assembly of spatially structured communities. Ecology.