Evolution of size-selective grazing
Human-related impacts are leading many species to decrease in size. This size-shift could lead to complex effects on the ecosystem: not just on the performance on the affected species, but also on the entire food chain. This is because processes in nature are often non-linear, with unpredictable and multifaceted consequences among interacting species.
My research focuses on understanding what could be the effects of size-shifts on the next level up in the food chain. To answer this question, I've cultured lineages of copepods and protists by feeding green microalgae that were evolved toward smaller or larger body sizes (or control algae). After many months, we looked at the consequences of the different algal diets on the grazing species.