I am interested in the processes that drive patterns of organismal diversity across spatial scales from local ecological interactions to global biogeographic patterns. I collect primary field data as well as use ecological-informatics tools to generate data sets that allow hypothesis tests across large spatial and temporal scales.
The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale ecological observatory that collects arthropods using pitfall traps at 47 sites in 23 states and Puerto Rico. From these traps, they measure abundance and diversity of ground beetles (the Carabidae). My current project is to develop nondestructive and semi-automatic methods to quantify the abundance, biomass and diversity of all ground-active arthropods collected in the NEON pitfall traps. These methods will lead to our having the ability to test ecological and biogeographical hypotheses across multiple taxa (e.g., spiders, ants, snails, worms, other beetle families, etc.) collected in a standardized fashion from the same places.
Weiser, M.D., N.G. Swenson, B.J. Enquist, S. Michaletz, R. Waide and M. Kaspari. 2018. Taxonomic decomposition of the latitudinal gradient in species diversity of North American floras. Journal of Biogeography 45:418-428.
Economo, E.P., N. Narula, N.R. Friedman, M.D. Weiser and B.S. Guénard. 2018. Macroecology and macroevolution of the latitudinal diversity gradient in ants. Nature Communications 9(1):Article 1778.
Weiser, M.D., V. Buzzard, Z. He, S. Michaletz, L. Shen, B.J. Enquist, R. Waide, J. Zhou and M. Kaspari. 2017. Toward a theory for diversity gradients: the Abundance-Adaptation Hypothesis. Ecography 41: 255-264.
Swenson, N.G., M.D. Weiser, L. Mao, M.B. Araujo, J.A.F. Diniz-Filho, J. Kollman, D. Nogués, R. Garcí-Valdeé and J.-C. Svenning. 2017. Phylogeny and predicting tree functional diversity across novel continental settings. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26(5): 553-562.
Kerkhoff, A.J., P. Moriarty and M.D. Weiser. 2014. The latitudinal species richness gradient in New World woody angiosperms is consistent with the tropical conservatism hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1111(22): 8125-8130.