The primary research focus of Nate Swenson’s group is to discover the mechanisms underlying the origins of plant biodiversity and its distribution through space and time. A general long-term goal for those studying biodiversity should be to link the evolutionary processes underlying diversification to ecological patterns and interactions across scales. In pursuit of these goals, the laboratory takes an integrative and comparative approach employing a diverse array of techniques, tools and insights from multiple disciplines.
Much of the current research deals with plant functional traits, and Nate has recently published the book “Functional and phylogenetic ecology in R” (Springer UseR! Series, 2014).