Ph.D. StudentEmail: [[jslefche]]
Phone: (804) 684-7150, 7148
Office: Andrews Hall 105
Department: Biological Sciences
Advisor: J. Emmett Duffy
B.A., Biology. 2009. Colby College, Waterville, Maine.
I'm broadly interested in biodiversity, and what it means for the ecosystems and services that we value.
What is biodiversity, and how do we measure it? I'm currently exploring methods for assessing and quantifying different kinds of diversity, including functional and phylogenetic. These metrics may provide a more accurate and representative picture of the diversity of ecological communities. I'm presently applying them to global reef fish communities using data from the Reef Life Survey network. So far, this work has revealed new hotspots of fish diversity that are not predicted from species data alone. I have also applied these techniques to demersal fish communities in the Chesapeake Bay as part of a Dimensions of Biodiversity Distributed Graduate Seminar using data from the Chesapeake Bay Multi-species Monitoring and Assessment Program.
What exactly does biodiversity mean for ecosystems, and can we generalize about the contributions of biodiversity across organisms and systems? I employ both an experimental and meta-analytical approach to investigating how biodiversity affects ecosystem processes. I have been involved in several synthetic projects, most recently reviewing how biodiversity influences functioning in marine systems, and whether the importance of biodiversity increases as one considers multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously. My experimental work involves manipulating small invertebrates in experimental mesocosms. Many of these invertebrates are also important grazers in seagrass systems, and I'm interesting in their role as algal consumers in promoting seagrass health, as well as their role as food for higher-level fishes and macroinvertebrates. I have also conducted an experiment funded by Virginia SeaGrant to investigate whether these invertebrates are predators of newly settled bay scallops as well, which will help identify potential habitat for the reintroduction of this species to Virginia's coastal bays.
J.S. Lefcheck, J. van Montfrans, R.J. Orth, E.L. Schmitt, J.E. Duffy, and M. Luckenbach. 2014. “Epifaunal invertebrates as predators of juvenile bay scallops (Argopectin irradians).” Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 454: 18-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.jembe.2014.01.014. PDF
L. Gamfeldt, J.S. Lefcheck, J.E.K. Byrnes, J.E. Duffy, B.J. Cardinale, J.N. Griffin. 2014. “Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: what’s known and what’s next.” PeerJ PrePrints 2:e249v1. DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.249v1. PDF
J.S. Lefcheck, A. Buchheister, K.M. Laumann, M. Stratton, K. Sobocinski, S. Chak, T.R. Clardy, P.L. Reynolds, R.J. Latour, & J.E. Duffy. 2014. “Dimensions of biodiversity in Chesapeake Bay demersal fishes: Patterns and drivers through space and time.” Ecosphere 5(2): art14. doi: 10.1890/ES13-00284.1. PDF
J.E.K. Byrnes, L. Gamfeldt, F. Isbell, J.E. Duffy, J.S. Lefcheck, J.N. Griffin, A. Hector, B.J. Cardinale, D.U. Hooper, & L.E. Dee. 2014. “Investigating the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality: Challenges and solutions.” Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5(2): 111-124. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12143. PDF
Stuart-Smith, A.E. Bates, J.S. Lefcheck, J.E. Duffy, S.C. Baker, R.J. Thomson, J.F. Stuart-Smith, N.A. Hill, S.J. Kininmonth, L. Airoldi, M.A. Becerro, S.J. Campbell, T.P. Dawson, S.A. Navarette, G.A. Soler, E.M.A. Strain, T.J. Willis, & G.J. Edgar. 2013. “Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity.” Nature 501(7468): 539-542. doi: 10.1038/nature12529. PDF / press release
J.S. Lefcheck, M.A. Whalen, T.M. Davenport, J.P. Stone, & J.E. Duffy. 2013. “Physiological effects of dietary mixing on consumer fitness: A meta-analysis.” Ecology 94(3): 565-527. doi: 10.1890/12-0192.1. PDF /press release
T.J. Bird, A.E. Bates, J.S. Lefcheck, N.A. Hill, S. Wotherspoon, M. Krkosek, R. Stuart-Smith, J. Stuart-Smith, G. Pecl, G.J. Edgar, R.J. Thomson, N. Barrett, & S. Frusher. 2013. “Statistical solutions for error and bias in global citizen science datasets.” Biological Conservation. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.07.037. *Invited contribution. PDF
J.S. Lefcheck, & J.N. Griffin. “Comment: Choosing and using traits in functional diversity research.” Environmental Conservation. *Invited contribution
J.E. Duffy, P.L. Reynolds, C. Boström, J.A. Coyer, M. Cusson, S. Donadi, J.G. Douglass, J. Eklöf, A. Engelen, B.K. Eriksson, S. Fredriksen, L. Gamfeldt, C. Gustafsson, G. Hoarau, M. Hori, K. Hovel, K. Iken, J.S. Lefcheck, P. Moksnes, M. Nakaoka, M.I. O’Connor, J.L. Olsen, J.P. Richardson, J.L. Ruesink, E.E. Sotka, J.J. Stachowicz, J. Thormar, M.A. Whalen. “Biodiversity predicts functioning of eelgrass ecosystems: A global comparative experiment.” PNAS.
Sample(ECOLOGY), my own blog on biodiversity science, ecology, statistics, and R
BioDiverse Perspectives, a blog about all aspects of biodiversity science, written by graduate students. Our goal is to bring interesting, seminal papers to other graduate students in casual, approachable language, and to provide a forum for graduate students to come together and discuss the future of biodiversity research