Hi! My name is Daniel Falster. I am Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I use a combination of maths, computer models, and large data sets to test fundamental ideas about the processes shaping biological communities. I am passionate about science, open data, reproducible research, and teaching biologists to code.

Research questions: The main focus in of my lab is predicting the distribution of plant types found within vegetation and across environmental gradients, from ecological and evolutionary first principles. More broadly, I am interested in understanding how competitive interactions shape the ecology, population dynamics, and traits of species and communities. The sorts of questions we address include:

  • How does competition for light select for particular kinds of traits and vegetation structure?
  • How do trait-based trade-offs in plant function maintain functional diversity, enabling species to coexist even under competition?
  • How do functional traits influence the growth and life cycle of plant species?
  • How well can we predict the dynamics of vegetation, in terms of size structure, biomass, and species diversity?

Interested in PhD, Masters or Honours? I am interested in supervising students seeking to apply quantitative methods to address the types of questions outlined above. If you are interested see #opportunities for more info.