We are community ecologists with a particular fondness for ants, hence our nickname ever since 1995, as “The AntLab”. In our lab we explore how and why insect communities vary as you move from place to place across our planet. Our studies span every terrestrial biome and are guided by the love of combining a good idea with the joys of field work. We hope to understand the basic rules distributing abundance and diversity across Earth’s ecosystems.
We are currently funded by three NSF grants. One, funded by NSF Population and Community, explores how biogeochemistry–particularly that of salt–shapes the geography of grassland food webs.
The second is a big collaboration with the Geographical Ecology group at the University of Oklahoma, funded by NSF Macrosystems, that leverages the incredible NEON network of pitfall traps toward creating a macroecology of terrestrial invertebrates.
The third, funded by a NEON EAGER, is now wrapping up, and explores how ant communities have changed in the last 20 years.
Graduate students: We welcome folks who want to ask big questions studying small critters. Our students are supported by a mix of Research Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships, and have earned GANN, GRFP and DIGG support from NSF.
Undergraduates: The AntLab has a long history of recruiting and supporting promising undergrads who work with us at international field sites and go on to earn Ph. D.s and Medical degrees.
Post Docs: Post docs in our lab have brought their own grant support and have worked on our lab’s grants. If our unique approach appeals to you, get in touch and let’s work together to bring you into the growing group of students and faculty in Geographical Ecology at OU!
Contact Mike at mkaspari dot ou dot edu