I am a theoretical ecologist by formation, I am generally interested in investigating factors and processes driving the dynamics of natural and harvested populations and in understanding how to use this knowledge to inform practical management.
In recent years I have been particularly interested in investigating factors and processes that provide resilience of natural or managed population to natural and anthropogenic stressors, environmental shocks and climate change. I study resilience from two very different points of view: on the one hand, I have focused my attention on populations that prove to be resilient despite our effort to control or eradicate them, namely parasitic and infectious diseases. On the other hand, I have been working extensively to understand how to increase resilience of population of commercial or conservation interest to extensive harvesting, environmental shocks, climate change and land use change.
I have been working on a number of theoretical and applied problems ranging from the conservation of the European eel to the sustainable management of the abalone fishery in Baja California in the face of climate change, the biocontrol of schistososmiasis in west Africa and the relationship between resource exploitation, infectious diseases and poverty traps.
In the last five years, I focused most of my effort on building the Program for Disease Ecology Health and the Environment as a pillar of Human and Planetary Health at Stanford University, with the ultimate goal of discovering novel ecological solutions that can improve human wellbeing and the health of the environment that underpins it.