Dr. Kalyuzhny studies how multiple species can coexist in ecosystems without causing each other to become extinct, and how fast ecosystems change.
He did his PhD in Ecology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his dissertation, he found that ecosystems around the world change much faster than theoretical expectations, and he attributed this to the effect of environmental changes. He also suggested a theory that explains how such environmental changes determine the numbers of common and rare species.
Dr. Kalyuzhny has recently been named a Michigan Life Science Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, where he studies forest ecosystems. It has been suggested that tree species can coexist because of different specializations or “strategies” – for example, some trees may reach larger sizes, competing better for sunlight, while others may produce more seeds. However, it is unknown how many species can be supported by such differences in real ecosystems. To address this question, Dr. Kalyuzhny is combining the statistical analysis of long-term datasets documenting the dynamics of forests around the globe with theoretical models of these dynamics.
Dr. Kalyuzhny hopes that a better understanding of the factors contributing to species diversity may help conserve this diversity, which is also known to be important for the functioning of ecosystems (e.g. carbon storage).