Applied Evolutionary Ecology and Plant Disease Ecology
Welcome to the Gilbert Lab!
The Gilbert lab in the Department of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, brings together environmental scholars interested in applying evolutionary ecology to solving environmental problems, within an interdisciplinary environment of natural and social scientists. We are particularly interested in making ecological research relevant, useful, and accessible across different communities of practice.
A diversity of interdisciplinary scholars
Everyone in the lab has something to do with plant pathology, trees, fungi, or inquiry-based education - and usually some combination of those. Beyond that we work in tropical and temperate ecosystems, and we study wildlands, highly managed ecosystems, and urban forests. We use molecular tools, archival research, field experiments, narrative analysis, computer models, art, long-term monitoring, meta-analysis, and whatever other approaches help us answer interesting questions that contribute to solving important environmental problems. A strong theme in the lab is evaluating how phylogenetic ecology may provide new ways to understand and predict complex species interactions in the face of global change. We also run 16-ha the UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot.
The lab has special interests in experiential and inquiry-based science teaching and learning at the K-16 level. This includes working with local school districts toward effective implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.