Our group at UNC Greensboro studies Aquatic ecosystems with approaches in Quantitative Ecology. We are particularly excited about combining theoretical, statistical, and field-based approaches to address fundamental and applied questions in spatial ecology. Inquiries? Shoot an email to Akira Terui . Current key topics in our group include the following:

River network complexity – Rivers recurrently join to form a fractal branching network, in which geometric properties (e.g., branching patterns) remain similar across spatial scales. We are interested in how this “scale-invariant” complexity drives ecological systems. We tackle this question with mathematical models and big-data synthesis. Core part of this project has recently been funded by NSF (link). Photo credit Pixabay. Related publications - Terui et al. 2018 PNAS, Terui et al. 2021 PNAS, Pomeranz et al. 2023, Ecosphere, Shibasaki and Terui, Oikos.

Context-dependent dispersal – Dispersal is a fundamental process that mediates disease spread, spatial dynamics, and food webs. Although dispersal is often assumed to be a “stochastic” event in population/community ecology, behavioral ecologists have long recognized that dispersal is triggered by internal (e.g., body size) and/or external (e.g., disturbance) factors. We are interested in integrating behavioral aspects of dispersal into population and community ecology. Photo: Masu salmon Oncorhynchus masou masou. Related publications -Terui et al. 2022 Freshwater Biology, Terui et al. 2017 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Cross-system trophic interactions – Ecosystems are not a stand-alone entity; rather, they are connected through resource flux across ecosystems. We are interested in how aquatic and terrestrial food webs are connected through animal migration (e.g., the emergence of aquatic insects), and how food web interactions mediate transfer of energy across ecosystems. Photo: Ground beetle Brachinus stenoderus eating aquatic insects emerging from the river. Related publications - Terui et al. 2018 Ecosystems, Terui et al. 2017 Ecological Research.