We approach ecological research as an interactive process between theory development and empirical investigation. We focus on the ecological requirements of individuals and species (autecology) as a basis for understanding the distribution and abundance of organisms, and for interpreting local diversity (community structure).
The specific problems tackled include the clarification of the host relationships of phytophagous insects (including crop pests), and the ecology of parasitoid wasps and rainforest insects (mainly drosophilid flies). Overall, these efforts have led to the first formalisation of the structure of autecology, an approach that is particularly important in applied entomology.
An annotated bibliography and guide to reading about autecology can be found at:
Walter, G.H. & Hengeveld, R. (2014) Autecology: Organisms, Interactions and Environmental Dynamics. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
The Walter Lab’s work on cycads and their pollinators was featured in a recent issue of International Innovation:
Header pictures by Renee Rossini and Rehan Silva. Used with permission.