Spatial ecology explores the dynamics of ecological systems that produce spatial patterns and interactions. We have worked on a number of systems exploring these issues ranging from spatial dependencies in gopher mound production impacting vegetation dynamics in prairies to the role of shrub location on the distribution of annual species in desert ecosystems.

The impact of invasive species has accelerated as humans have become more mobile. This has a number of implications for ecolgical stability and the integrity of natural ecosystems. We have worked on a number of invasive species in our lab, including purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, Schismus arabicus and mammals in New Zealand. This has involved a number of approaches including modeling, experimentation and field studies.
Spatial statistics have been used extensively by our reserach group as a mechanism for detecting spatial interactions across a range of scales, especially point pattern analysis. In that regard, Kirk A. Moloney coauthored a book with Thorsten Weigand of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig Germany that provides insights into the use of point-pattern analysis for analyzing ecological systems.

We use C++ and R to simulate ecological processes as a mechanism for studying ecological interactions in a spatial context and have calloborated with a number of research groups to address a range of ecological questions.