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Publications in VIVO

Melbourne, Brett Andrew

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My research is motivated by the broad question of how to best maintain biodiversity on Earth. I focus on how biodiversity is generated, maintained, or degraded by the interaction among organisms and with their environment. My approach is interdisciplinary, combining biological experiments and empirical data with mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Key questions include how species respond to climate change, why species persist or go extinct, and how invasive species spread. More technically, I study dynamics in space and time of natural systems, at two levels of biological organization - populations and communities. I develop theory in the form of mathematical models and connect these models to empirical data, which involves also developing new statistical and computational methods. Many important questions about biodiversity have two conspicuous features: an element of randomness and a spatial component. As a consequence, my research typically applies the mathematics of stochastic spatial systems.


  • ecological data science, mathematical ecology, machine learning, ecological theory, ecology of populations and communities, biodiversity, conservation, invasion, extinction, climate change


selected publications


courses taught

  • EBIO 1220 - General Biology 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021
    Provides a concentrated introduction to organisms, homeostasis, development, behavior, and ecology. Emphasizes fundamental principles, concepts, facts,and questions. Intended for science majors. Recommended prerequisite: EBIO 1210 (minimum grade C-).
  • EBIO 5460 - Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2024
    Familiarizes students with specialized areas of biology. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Same as EBIO 4460.
  • EBIO 6100 - Seminar in Environmental Biology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Instructor consent required. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours. Same as EBIO 6120.
  • EBIO 6300 - Seminar in Organismic Biology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours.
  • EBIO 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022 / Spring 2023
    May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours. Instructor consent required.


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