Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing World

The goal of my research program is to understand the role of biodiversity in ecosystem services in the real world – that is, in large-scale and unmanipulated systems. We are developing a framework for thinking about this question that bridges the gap between smaller-scale experiments and the associated theory, which ecologists understand well, to the more complicated reality of nature. What is the most meaningful way to measure biodiversity in nature? Do we need to preserve biodiversity in order to maintain ecosystem services, or are only a few dominant species sufficient? What is the role of rare species in ecosystem services, and is the answer scale-dependent? Can we extend biodiversity-ecosystem function research to mutualist networks? These are some of our current questions.

Individual lab members work in a variety of systems worldwide, but all of us use pollinators and/or pollination as a model system. We put the results of our research into practice through collaboration with NGOs and government agencies doing on-the-ground pollinator conservation.


Winfree Lab Members


Back row: Michael Roswell, PhD student; Tina Harrison, postdoc; James Reilly, postdoc.
Front row: Colleen Smith, PhD student; Rachael Winfree, PI; Mark Genung, postdoc
Not pictured: Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, PhD student; Lucia Weinman, PhD student