I study how global change affects interactions between plants and insects.
Insects have eaten plants for around 400 million years. These interactions have given rise to most of terrestrial biodiversity. Over the past 12,000 years, humans have disrupted plant-herbivore relationships by building cities, domesticating crops, and changing the global climate.
I investigate these disruptions, focusing on species that are of cultural importance, such as street trees, crops, crop wild relatives, and plants that support rare insect species. My work combines experiments, observations, citizen science, and biological collections to address key hypotheses in ecology.
Recently, my focus has been longterm trends in insect damage to plants in North America, France, and Japan, three continents with rich pressed plant collections (herbaria). I'm developing methods to use the hundreds of millions of herbarium specimens collected since the 1700s to understand how plant-insect interactions have shifted over centuries. For details, see current projects.