Trophic interactions and the environmental drivers of resource availability play
central roles in shaping ecological communities, species distributions, and population
structure as eating and being eaten are vital to an organism’s fitness. However,
trophic interactions are often cryptic, limiting our understanding of their importance
for studying ecological systems and for designing effective strategies for habitat
and species conservation.
Dr. Kurle's lab develops and utilizes biogeochemical techniques to circumvent the
cryptic nature of measuring animal foraging ecology, and increase our knowledge of
feeding interactions, animal habitat use, resource dynamics, and their importance
for determining population trajectories and ecosystem structure. Prof. Kurle's research
takes place in a diversity of natural systems from the Arctic to the tropics to the
Antarctic, all with the goal of understanding current and past trophic processes
that shape ecosystems, species distributions, and population trends, and with a higher
objective of informing conservation and restoration of at risk species and habitats.
BILD 3, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (Introduction to Ecology and Evolution).
Dr. Kurle presents lectures on the history of evolutionary thought, evidence for
evolution and natural selection, speciation, human evolution, organismal diversity,
community and ecosystem ecology, climate change, and conservation.
BIEB 130, Marine Conservation Biology. Dr. Kurle covers topics including marine habitats
and biodiversity, history of marine ecosystems, fisheries management, marine protected
areas, ecosystem based management, habitat destruction, coastal development, aquaculture,
climate change, pollution, and invasive species.
Building up a picture of life in the sea is like putting together a huge jig-saw
puzzle made up of tiny pieces, but much more difficult. Not only have we a very imperfect
idea of what kind of picture will emerge, but all the pieces to be fitted together
are not on the table before us; they are lying about somewhere underneath it and
we must feel about for them in the darkness. -The Open Sea by Alister Hardy