Peggy Fong

Bio

Peggy Fong is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her research is at the intersection of community and ecosystem ecology and her overarching goal is to use basic knowledge gained from this research to inform conservation of habitats and communities in the face of a changing world. Over the last 30 years, a vigorous debate has developed in ecology which concerns one of the most basic conceptual models of our time, namely whether communities are structured by forces from the top (consumers) or the bottom (resources) or as a result of the interactions between these forces. What gives this question critical new importance is the widespread occurrence of rapid and catastrophic phase shifts that have been associated with human alterations of top down and bottom up forces. Specifically, her research seeks to further our basic understanding of how the relative strength of and interaction between top-down and bottom-up processes shape communities.