Behavior is central to the survival and fitness of animals in dynamic ecosystems. I integrate a range of in situ sensing and in silico experimentation techniques to advance mechanistic understanding of animal behavior in dynamic and changing ecosystems. I explore diverse elements of animal behavior across ecological scales, taxa, and ecosystems toward expanding the theoretical breadth and applied reach of behavioral ecology in the Anthropocene. My research program centers on three overlapping goals:

As an example, check out this video about the pelagic predator-prey behavioral observatory, a collaborative program that I lead at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute!

Video created by Maddie Go

I. Understand: Drivers of animal behavior across ecological scales 

My research program seeks to understand the drivers of individual animals’ behaviors, how social interactions mediate group-level behaviors, and how these individual and group-level processes result in population-level patterns of behavior. I further interrogate the adaptive capacity of individual and group-level behavioral strategies under ecosystem variation and change in the Anthropocene.

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II. Expand: Integrating tools to explore cryptic species, interactions, and ecosystems 

A growing suite of tools allows for unprecedented detail, continuity, and integration of behavioral observations. Integrating these tools remains a challenge, but provides an extraordinary opportunity to expand the theoretical breadth and applied reach of behavioral ecology through the study of cryptic species and historically-opaque ecosystems. For example, >95% of Earth's habitable space is in the open and deep ocean, yet we know little about the drivers of animals' behaviors in these ecosystems. I integrate bio-logging tags, acoustic recorders, oceanographic sensors, computer simulations, and more to unveil the processes driving patterns of animal behavior across ecosystems. 

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More coming soon via our pelagic predator-prey behavioral observatory !

III. Engage: Effective and equitable stewardship of human-wildlife interactions 

Human communities are not only important drivers of animal behavior in the Anthropocene, but also as critical partners in enhancing the efficacy and equity of both the scientific process and its application to ecosystem stewardship. I explore dynamic management strategies for human and wildlife needs, and critically examine ways to incorporate principles of equity and environmental justice in applications of conservation technology. I am also excited about the power of collective community engagement in the scientific process via participatory science.

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