University of Vermont

University Communications


Arts & Sciences
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039
Specialty:terrestrial invertebrate ecology; parasite ecology; island biogeography; community ecology and null models
Biography:Gotelli's research addresses basic questions about the organization of animal and plant communities. He examines forces that determine the species composition and abundance of natural assemblages, and how competition and predation affect local community structure. Interactions between larval insect predators (ant lions) and their prey (ants) are a model system for addressing these questions. A second research focus is the use of null models to test for assembly rules and patterns of community organization. These models represent statistical tests and Monte Carlo simulations of community structure in the absence of a particular ecological mechanism. They are essential for testing community patterns with non-experimental data. He is building and testing null models for a variety of problems in community ecology and biogeography. Ecosim is a public-domain application that allows analysis of data with null models. Among his publications and software is the book "A Primer of Ecology" (3rd edition, 2001).