savage_cv_08dec016CV (pdf download)

I am a community ecologist, with particular interests in understanding (i) how different natural and anthropogenic drivers of ecological change influence the structure and dynamics of ecological communities through both direct and indirect pathways and (ii) the cascading consequences of this variation for ecosystem processes and services.

Arthropods are extraordinarily diverse, and they influence ecosystem processes from the tops of tree canopies to the soil underfoot. They also provide tractable systems for experimental manipulations in the laboratory and field. For these reasons, I use arthropods to address my study questions. In particular, ants perform many different ecological roles in nearly every habitat on the planet. They are also a group whose diversity is well documented. Consequently, ants are the focal group for many of my research projects.

I received my BS from The Evergreen State College in 2002. While I was an undergraduate, I conducted independent research on the daily activity patterns, nesting behaviors, and prey selection of two closely related Neotropical ants. I went on to get my MS in Biology (2004) from Western Washington University, where I investigated interactions among an ant-aphid mutualism, a gall-inducing midge, and the midge’s parasitioids. I earned my PhD in 2011 from Rice University. For my dissertation, I examined the influences of a mutualism between an invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and a native plant (Morinda citrifolia) on the structure and dynamics of local arthropod communities across the Samoan Archipelago. I began studying urban ecology and incorporating public science into my research during my post-doc at North Carolina State University. Finally, I started as an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Camden in September 2015. In my current research, I seek to address basic ecological questions in applied systems in order to both meet the goals of conservationists and move the field of Ecology forward.