Yun-Ting Jang

Yun-Ting Jang

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I am a PhD student working on theoretical community ecology. I started studying molecular biology and nuclear engineering during my undergraduate education but my interests eventually converged toward ecology. After some experience in empirical marine ecology during my master’s study, I transitioned to theoretical ecology. I thus see myself as an ecologist with the ability to combine empirical and theoretical work.

Community ecology studies encompass a diverse set of topics relating to the rise of a community and its patterns. We acknowledge that these phenomena have overlapping definitions that can lead to confusion since the underpinning mechanisms behind such phenomena are seldom discussed in a comprehensive, connected way. Ecological and evolutionary processes operate in concert, forming a dynamical feedback loop that leads to multiple phenomena observed in a community, yet it is common to study a single phenomenon separately from others. An overarching view linking these phenomena under an eco-evo framework is thus essential for the study of community ecology. 

Currently, I am interested in how to link eco-evo processes with community patterns through a theoretical approach, considering environmental, temporal, and spatial factors. My latest project is about using a mechanistic community assembly model to explore changes in the phylogenetic relationships between organisms across space.

Phylogenetic pattern renders the fundamental elements of a community, namely the time and space, which makes it a useful tool for macroevolutionary and biogeographical research. One of our goals is to formulate a theory that facilitates our understanding of the generation and maintenance of biodiversity using phylogenetic patterns.


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