"Making sense of messy communities", Tadashi Fukami, Associate Professor at the Department of Biology, Stanford University
Seeing that ecological communities are messy in the patterns they exhibit in structure and function, some researchers have sought to uncover general principles that govern all communities, while others have focused on describing unique natural history that characterizes specific communities. These two types of research may seem disparate, but I think it is necessary to integrate generality and specificity to understand communities and apply this knowledge for conservation, agriculture, and medicine. I also think that one way to do that is to continue to study historical contingency in community assembly. In my talk, I hope to explain this thought using as an example the research that my collaborators and I have conducted over the past decade on microbial communities that develop in floral nectar.