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BRANDON HAYS

Brandon is terrifically excited to be able to study tropical plant-animal interactions as part of the Poulsen lab at Duke - so excited he spontaneously began referring to himself in the 3rd person!

 

Brandon has been shaped by diverse experiences in ecological projects studying trophic cascades, novel ecosystems, biogeography, species distributions, and the cascading impacts of invasive species at the population and ecosystem level.  His MS research at the University of Wyoming employed demographic modeling and experimental manipulation to quantify how a tiny, invasive ant species could alter the structure of woody savannas in Kenya. For his PhD, Brandon is excited to explore the nature of wilderness, the potential of rewilding as a conservation tool, and how large herbivores influence forest ecosystems at small and large scales via alterations to plant community composition and structure. Brandon is also keenly interested in how we can effect change in the world, especially during the pivotal period we are lucky enough to live in. 

 

To that end, Brandon aims to conduct research that leverages rigorous science to inform policy and contribute to small and large scale conservation efforts - hopefully without losing a sense of playfulness and wonder.