Dr John S Park

Research Interests

I study how life cycles generally evolve in cyclically fluctuating environments (e.g. seasonal systems) through a combination of theory, agent-based models, experiments, field data collection, and comparative analysis. I enjoy keeping a theoretical backbone in my work with an eye toward generality; I tend to focus on demographic (structured populations) and life history optimization mechanisms. An important corollary to this research target is to understand how life cycles, and selection dynamics thereof, will change as environmental cycle backgrounds themselves change (e.g. seasonal cycles becoming skewed, and more unpredictable).

As a Marie Curie Fellow, I aim to reach a deeper understanding of life history and phenological selection forces acting on plant populations at a global scale. I investigate how gradients of seasonality across the planet shape the variations of life history timing patterns and their shifts in response to climate change. To do this, I am making use of today's big data maturity (e.g. COMPADRE) to improve understanding of phenological selection as well as forecasting power grounded in eco-evolutionary theory, beyond simple correlative predictions.