My research is directed towards understanding the structure and dynamics of plant communities and terrestrial ecosystems, especially of tropical forests. My group integrates empirical and theoretical approaches to pursue this aim. A major focus of our current research concerns quantifying the carbon budgets of tropical forests, investigating how these respond to environmental variation and depend on plant functional composition, and working to improve the representation of tropical forests in earth system models. I am also particularly interested in understanding the forces shaping the functional composition and diversity of tropical trees and lianas in different conditions.