Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Core

Department of Biological Services


The Behavior, Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEC) Core in the Department of Biological Sciences (DBS) at Auburn University has strong expertise in empirical ecology, particularly in terms of how species interactions and ecological functions are altered in the face of changing environments. Areas of study include terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, and involve questions spanning population and community dynamics, disease spread, conservation, disturbance ecology, and ecosystem restoration. Network analyses include entire niche networks, but also center on plant-herbivore interactions, food webs, and symbiotic systems including mutualistic networks. Growing in importance are computational studies of host-microbial interactions, impacts of non-native species on communities, and trajectories of community recovery after disturbances and in response to climate change. Expanding research in EP linked to other Core Areas with DBS include 1) interpreting how webs of species interactions relate to the structure of phylogenetic trees (Evolutionary Genetics and Systematics Core), 2) modeling host-microbiome network interactions (Host-Microbial Interactions Core), and 3) understanding how adaptations are shaped by species interaction complexes (Functional Adaptations Core).

Research Updates:
Noah Yawn collecting data on our Least Trillium plots at Redstone Arsenal in March 2021.
Noah Yawn collects data on our Least Trillium plots at Redstone Arsenal in March 2021.

Michael Smith