Grossman Family Postdoctoral Fellow - Brett Seymoure studies how natural and anthropogenic lighting affects myriad organisms. Brett has studied how tropical butterflies have evolved in different rainforest light environments and how gas developments in the Rocky Mountains affect mammals. As the Grossman Family Post-Doctoral Fellow, he will work with Kasey Fowler-Finn (Saint Louis University), Anthony Dell (National Great Rivers Research and Education Center), and Amanda Koltz (Washington University) to study how light drives food webs and predator-prey interactions in spiders and insects. Our understanding of how increased light conditions at night affect community interactions is limited and is especially lacking in the case of predator-prey interactions in arthropods (e.g. spiders and insects). Arthropods contribute the most to ecosystem services of any animal group and arthropods have had global declines in abundance over the last few decades. To understand how global change will alter ecosystem services and biodiversity, an understanding of how light at night will alter arthropod communities is needed. Brett will investigate the effects of anthropogenic lighting at night on predation in arthropods by addressing three major research aims: (1) quantify effects of light conditions on arthropod behavior and predator-prey interactions; (2) measure visual abilities for respective species; and 3) integrate behavioral and physiological data to understand how light structures arthropod communities to make predictions of effects of light pollution on global arthropod biodiversity.
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