Home » DEEP Lab


Dynamics of Ecological and Evolutionary Processes Lab is based in 5350 Storer Hall at the Unversity of California, Davis. It is a group of people working on the modeling, analysis, and simulation of ecological and evolutionary processes

current DEEP affiliates

  • Graduate Students
    • Dale Clement, Ph.D. student, Graduate Group in Population Biology, (2017-present)
      Education: B.A. Biology, Mathematics, Dartmouth College
      Research Interests: I am a theoretical ecologist who focuses on complex ecological dynamics. I seek to understand the complex behavior of natural systems by integrating ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary processes into unified models of population and community dynamics. I am interested in the stability of ecological systems in the face of external changes, particularly those of human origin.
    • Sam Fleischer, Ph.D. student, Graduate Group in Applied Mathematics, (2015-present)
      Education: B.S. Mathematics, California State University, Northridge
      Research Interests: I am interested in the Mathematics involved in the intersection of Ecology, Evolution and Epidemiology. More broadly, I am interested in dynamical systems.
    • Kelsey Lyberger, Ph.D. student, Graduate Group in Population Biology, (2015-present)
      Education: B.S. Biology, University of California, Berkeley
      Research Interests: Feedback loops between evolution and ecology; eco-evolutionary dynamics of Anolis lizards on Caribbean islands.
    • Michael Culshaw-Maurer, Ph.D. student, Graduate Group in Ecology, (2015-present)
      Education: B.A. Biology, Saint John’s University
      Research Interests: Michael studies trait-mediated effects of natural enemies, from predators to parasitoids and pathogens, in insect pests. In particular, he studies disease-induced cannibalism in big-eyed bugs and non-consumptive effects in aphids, using a variety of empirical and theoretical methods.”
  • Undergraduate Students
    • Kyle Cox,  Education: B.S. Applied Math and B.S. Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (2013-2018) Research Interests: I find joy in mathematically modeling and analyzing evolutionary and ecological processes with particular interest in community ecology, population ecology, population genetics, and eco-evo feedbacks. Currently I am focusing on eco-evo feedbacks in source-sink ecology within a diploid population genetics framework.

past DEEP affiliates

  • Post-docs
    • Mathieu Faure was a post-doc who works on stochastic approximations, quasi-stationary distributions of randomly-perturbed set-valued dynamics, and replicator processes. Mathieu is a faculty member at the Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d’Aix Marseille
    • Ryusuke Kon (2007-2008) was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science research fellow from Japan who analyzed the dynamics of host-parasitoid communities and competitive communities with a storage effect. Ryusuke is a tenured Faculty of Engineering at the University of Miyazaki in Japan.
    • Peter Ralph was a post-doc working with Graham Coop and myself. He is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon.
    • Joshua Rapp was a NSF post-doc with myself, Neal Williams and Jay Rosenheim who works on the evolution of flower number and reproductive resource allocations in stochastic pollination environments. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an Associate at the Harvard Forest.
    • Carolina Reigada was a post-doc who works on metapopulation dynamics in ephemeral habitats. Carolina is currently a post-doc at University of Sao Paulo.
    • Gregory Roth was a post-doctoral fellow sponsored by the Swiss and US National Science Foundations. While in Davis, Gregory worked on coexistence and population persistence in stochastic environments. He currently is a post-doc in Amsterdam with Hal Caswell and Andre de Roos
    • Peter Zee was a post-doctoral fellow at CSU/Northridge working with Casey terHorst and myself on the effects of eco-evolutionary feedbacks on community stability. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi.
  • Graduate Students
    • Brian Alger (MS 2011 in Applied Mathematics, UCD) worked on the relative roles of the storage effect and the competition-colonization trade-off on coexistence. Brian is a Computational Scientist in the Modeling and Simulation Department at the Idaho National Laboratory
    • William Cuello (PhD 2019  in Applied Mathematics) worked on the evolution of bet-hedging in winter Sonoran annuals and providing a mathematically rigorous foundation for Peter Chesson’s small-noise, coexistence theory. William currently is a Hill Visiting Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.
    • Nick Fabina (PhD 2014 in Population Biology, UCD) worked on understanding symbiodinium-coral associations using network theory and coral reef dynamics in disturbed environments. He is currently a principle data scientist for Salo Sciences
    • Bailey Meeker (MS 2013 in Applied Mathematics UCD) worked on temporal variation in the environment and phenotypic variation among individuals affects the spread of invasive species.
    • Matt Meisner (PhD 2015 in Population Biology, UCD) was co-advised by Jay Rosenheim and myself. His thesis focused on apply big data methods (e.g. machine learning) to datasets from the cotton and citrus industry. He is the Head of Data Analytics at the Farmers Business Network
    • Jacob Moore (PhD 2017 in Population Biology, UCD) used integral projection models (IPMs) to address questions in restoration of oysters and the dynamics of open populations with stochastic recruitment and local demography. Jacob is the Undergraduate Research Coordinator at University of Minnesota.
    • Swati Patel (PhD 2016 in Applied Mathematics, UCD) worked on the effects of eco-evolutionary feedbacks on species coexistence and community stability. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow Tulane University.
    • Nicholas Roberts, (MS 2019 in Applied Mathematics, UCD) worked on the evolution of cue integration systems in stochastic environments and extinction risk following human induced rapid environmental change. Nicholas is currently a PhD student at University of Vermont in Complex Systems & Data Science.
    • Will Tarantino (MS 2008, VIMS) was co-advised by Emmett Duffy and myself. He studied the effects of adaptive foraging and community assembly on biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

past students

Prior to coming to UCD, I had the privledge with working the following students:

  • Graduate students
    • Peter Caldwell (MS 2001, WWU) got a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
    • Daniel Graber (MS 2001, WWU) is a Mathematics Instructor Skagit Valley Community College.
    • Chris Killingstad (MS 2002, WWU) is an instructor at Everett Community College
    • Bobby Smith (MS 1999, WWU) works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
  • Undergraduate Students
    • Evan Saltzman (BS 2008, WM) worked on the evolution of dispersal and is Ph.D. student in OR at GIT.
    • Matt Holden (BS 2008, UCD) worked on dispersal in heterogeneous environments, got an applied math Ph.D. at Cornell, and is research fellow and lecturer at University of Queensland.
    • Adam Carpenter (BS 2008, WM) worked on effects of spatial and temporal heterogeneity on diversity and ecosystem processes.
    • Jennifer “Jef” Akst (BS 2004, WM) worked on modeling the evolution of kleptoparasitism and is a Ph.D. in Wade’s Lab at University of Indiana.
    • Kevin Armstrong (2004) (BS 2004, WM) wrote MatLab code for simulating continuous time Markov chain models of community assembly and is a Ph.D. student in mathematics at University of Maryland.
    • Bill Dirks (BS 1999, WWU) did his senior honor project on “Spiking and Oscillation in Neuronal Models” and received a NSF pre-doctoral fellowship in 1999 to attend Cornell as a Ph.D. student in Applied Mathematics.
    • Jason Keagy (BS 2003, WM) collaborated with Dan Cristol and myself on the effects of replacing source habitats with sink habitats that was published in Restoration Ecology. He got his a PhD at University of Maryland and is currently a post-doctoral student at University of Illinois.
    • Molly Kelton (BS 2005, Vassar) worked on competition in source-sink environments that lead to a publication in Journal of Animal Ecology. Molly is now an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Washington State University.
    • Seth Rittenhouse (BS 2002, WWU) worked on intransititiveis in community assembly that lead to a publication in Oikos. He get his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After a stint as a professor at WWU, he became a physics Professor at the US Naval Academy.
    • Eric Ruggieri (BS 2006, Providence) analyzed the Schoener-Holt-Polis model of intraguild predation that appeared in Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, got his Ph.D.  in applied mathematics at Brown University, and now is an Assistant Professor at Holy Cross.
    • Glory Tobiason (BS 2001, WWU) worked on the evolution of consumers competing for two resources that was published in the J. Math. Biol., spent two years living on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, taught math for several years at an alternative high school in Washington DC. Molly is now a research scientist at CRESST.
    • Jake Wamsley (BS 2006, WM) studied the effect of spatial heterogeneity on population abundance and persistence and is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry at University of Virginia.
    • Melanie Vejdani (BS 2005, WM) analyzed the co-evolution of host-parasitoid interactions in spatially heterogeneous environments.