Research

Gut community succession

Our gut microbes are part of us, and it is a current challenge to understand how the ecological mechanisms and patterns underlying their community dynamics affect our physical and mental health.

Grassland community responses to climate change

Alpine grassland species are already shifting their ranges in response to climate change. Can we use species traits to predict shifts in community composition and function in response to human-driven environmental changes?

Teaching

Communication is central to science and depends on all of us being conversant with scientific principles and the scientific process. I try to incorporate science education, in a broad sense, into whatever I’m doing. Before graduate school, I spent two years mentoring Namibian college students at the Gobabeb Research and Training Center and managing science and conservation efforts of the Amazon rainforest at GVI Ecuador. During my PhD, I taught elementary school students in Detroit and was a graduate student instructor for four courses over seven semesters. In my last year, I helped design a R-based laboratory component for EEB 485: Population and Community Ecology, a graduate-level course at UM introducing students to the fundamental principles governing single and interacting populations. My labs are written in R Markdown and are available here.

Publications

. Trait-based community assembly and succession of the infant gut microbiome. Nature Communications, 2019.

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. Trait-based community assembly in a changing climate: Dispersal dynamics and ecological filtering in a grassland metacommunity. University of Michigan, PhD Dissertation, 2017.

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. Can trait patterns along gradients predict plant community responses to climate change?. Ecology, 2016.

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. Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao, Psittaciformes: Psittacidae) nest characteristics in the Osa Peninsula Conservation Area (ACOSA), Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical, 2009.

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. Rössing biodiversity assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment, 2008.

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. Are colonial pastures the ancestors of the contemporary Maya forest?. Journal of Ethnobiology, 2008.

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Contact

  • guittarj@msu.edu
  • Department of Plant Biology, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA