Matthew McCary


SURF Mentoring

Potential projects/topics: Global change biology, invasion biology, entomology, soil ecology, climate change

Potential skills gained: Microscopy, DNA extractions, soil processing in lab, ecological field work, data analysis

Required qualifications: No skills required

Direct mentor: Faculty/P.I.

Student Project Titles List

Biodiversity Comparison amongst Different Environmental Habitats at Rice University

Research Areas

My research examines the fundamental drivers and constraints of soil biodiversity, specifically how diversity relates to foodweb dynamics, communityand ecosystem responses to environmental disturbances,and the feedback loops between food websand ecosystem functioning. There are three major questions I investigate: (1) how do invasive species change soil biodiversity and associated ecosystem health? (2) What are the impacts of urbanization on ecosystem and community processes? (3) How does ecosystem structure affectfood web responses to changes in resource availability? To address these questions, I use an integrative approach that includesobservational and experimental studies, ecological modeling, and molecular techniques.