Summary of Research Interests

My research focuses on conceptual issues in two areas: (1) the history and philosophy of ecology, and (2) the history and philosophy of the complex systems sciences. These aren't unrelated, of course; ecological communities and ecosystems are some of the most complex systems that science studies.

I endorse a very broad conception of ecology, one that includes ecological approaches in a variety of natural and social sciences (e.g. ecological economics, ecological psychology) and philosophy (e.g. ecological epistemologies, ecological approaches to perception and cognition). So, as a philosopher of ecology I'm interested in foundational issues in all of these areas. Much of my research to date has focused on the relationship between ecological science and the problems of environmental philosophy.

As a philosopher of the complex systems sciences I'm trying to understand the general features that distinguish sciences of complexity (e.g. nonlinear dynamics, network theories, theories of self-organization, etc.) from more traditional branches of natural and social science. My hope is that this research will illuminate the challenges facing ecology as a science of complex systems.