Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Kansas Biological Survey
Plant Community Ecology
Dr. Foster earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Research in my lab explores how biotic interactions, resource availability, dispersal limitations and regional processes interact to govern the assembly, diversity, and functioning of plant communities. We are also interested in understanding the impacts of land management and anthropogenic global changes on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and applying this understanding to the conservation and restoration of native plant communities. Study methods employed include a combination of short- and long-term field experiments, observational studies and modeling approaches.
Current projects include: long-term studies of secondary succession, community assembly and prairie restoration; the interplay of neutral- and niche-based assembly processes in regulating plant community responses to environmental change; the influence of hay management on local and regional patterns of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem function; effects of habitat fragmentation on plant community dynamics and biodiversity; microbial diversity of grassland soils; landscape-scale restoration in Longleaf Pine Savanna.