The impact of landscape alterations on species interactions
How do communities partition the available resources and how do these interactions vary in time and space and with changes in the environment?
We use a variety of techniques to track food webs in both tropical and temperate systems using high-throughput sequencing technologies. We have constructed and compared food webs among frugivores, insectivores, parasites and pollinators in both temperate and tropical environments.
In South East Asia we have looked at the response of bats to fragmentation here and here and we have used leech blood meals to compare mammal diversity here. In the fragmented Brazilian Atlantic Forests we have looked at flexibility of bat diets here and the response of microbiome to forest fragmentation here. In Central America we documented the impact of El Ninio on seed dispersal here and individual insect specializations here.
BIOSCAN & BIOSCAN CANADA
The Clare lab is pleased to join BIOSCAN, a seven-year, $180 million global research program to revolutionize our understanding of biodiversity and our capacity to manage it. Involving scientists, research organizations, and citizens, BIOSCAN will explore three major research themes: Species Discovery, Species Interactions, Species Dynamics.
For more information on BIOSCAN and iBOL visit: ibol.org
BIOSCAN and the Clare lab have received support from Genome Canada and the Transformation 2020 awards. For more information see press release here. To see our preliminary work on symbiomes inspired by BIOSCAN see papers on solitary bees here and here, and on batflies and their microbial parasites here.
Developing New Environmental DNA Technologies
From extracting eDNA from the air to using leeches and dung beetles to collect eDNA and sequencing DNA in a jungle we love using DNA and technologies in new ways. In the Clare lab we are happy to try some crazy ideas to solve problems.... because they just might work!
To hear an interview on eDNA on radio Australia's Future Tense
For a french language TV documentary see coverage on Découverte
To see an interview about our work with airborne eDNA on tv try CTV
To see a short TV news clip see here
To hear an interview about sucking mole rat DNA out of the air try BYU radio
To hear an interview about eDNA try the Naked Scientist podcast (starts half way in)
To hear an interview in french (translated) try Radio Canada - Les Annees Lumiere
To read about leeches as a mammal sampling method see here
To read about dung beetles as a biodiversity sampler see here
See a short video about our work from SciShow
Another video report (not by us) can be found here
Molecular Dietary Analysis
The Clare lab were among the first to use DNA and metabarcoding to perform dietary analysis. We developed many of the early techniques and we have continued to refine these over the last 15 years. We have analyzed the diet of insects, small mammals, reptiles, birds, spiders and even carnivorous plants. Most of our work has been on bats and their insect, fruit and pollen diet.
Our first ever paper on the topic is here
Our recent paper on marine foraging bats and their exposure to mercury is here
An analysis of diet in a lemur community can be found here
An analysis of foraging in aquatic invertebrates can be found here
Some urban ecology of fruit bats can be found here