Many fields of biology have tremendously benefitted from the increasing availability of whole genome data. Genetic data has become crucial to many areas of ecology, but whole genome data has not proven particularly beneficial. In this area of my research I seek to use whole genome data as a tool to increase the predictability of community ecology.
Although my research in this area has largely outlined the considerable limitations of direct genes-to-ecosystem approaches, my ongoing research is revealing the tremendous utility of whole genome data when combined with data on phenotypes and population size. Ultimately, I believe that work in model systems will translate to leap forward in our understanding of population regulation and community ecology in nature.