The Ott Lab Page
Primary: My primary research interests are in the population and evolutionary ecology of plant-animal interactions (particularly insect-plant systems). This research combines studies of ecology, behavior, and genetics in a number of study systems based in the Texas Hill Country and in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia at the University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm. The systems studied range from diminuitive and showy spring annual wildflowers and their insect pollinators and associated insect fauna to long-lived Plateau Live oaks, and their associated host-specific insect gall-formers and diverse gall former natural enemy communities. Work conducted in my lab involves a combination of experimental and descriptive field and lab studies conducted in the context of rigorous sampling schemes and robust experimental designs. (See research opportunities and research history sections for descriptions of the systems and questions).
Secondary: A secondary area of research is work conducted in conjunction with Texas Parks and Wildlife on: a) the environmental and genetic basis of body and antler trait variation in White-tailed deer, b) the relationship between age, condition, and antler asymmetry, and c) the relationship between age, body size, and antler traits and reproductive success. (See section describing this work).