Cross-scale ecology for a rapidly changing world
contact me: ljurgens [at] temple [dot] edu
My research focuses on uncovering key processes and interactions that maintain biodiversity and the function of coastal marine ecosystems in the face of increasing climate variability, extreme events, reductions in key species like predators and habitat-formers, and species invasions.
I mostly work in coastal ecosystems along the Pacific coast of Central and North America, including Panama, Mexico, California, and Alaska.
Postdoctoral Fellow, (2015–present)
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Temple University.
PhD, Ecology, (2009–2015).
University of California Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory
I ask questions aimed at unearthing feedbacks between processes operating across spatial and temporal scales and across levels of ecological organization— from individuals to communities, ecosystems, and biogeographic regions.
Much of my work deals with how various factors— especially physiology, life history, interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment—shape ecological responses to extreme climate events. As these disturbances increase in frequency with global environmental change, I’m interested in how these various factors combine to affect biodiversity and the ability of ecological systems to resist and recover from such events.
I do use-inspired basic research, which means that I ask questions with the goal of informing underlying conservation problems and strategies. Some of my key findings, for example, show that conserving habitat-forming species and predators can offer double benefits by buffering communities from climate variability. While yet untested, these early experimental results suggest possible climate-resilience benefits of place-based strategies like Marine Protected Areas.
I’m also interested in building the science we need to support sustainable invertebrate fisheries, especially towards helping small-scale and subsistence fisheries weather the increasing uncertainty of global change.