Staff Scientist, Quantitative Ecology
Eric is a quantitative ecologist who studies metacommunities in freshwater and polar ecosystems. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. At both institutions, his research projects focused on understanding drivers of stream macroinvertebrate biodiversity. As a postdoc, he has applied spatial statistics to identify the scales at which different types of organisms respond to environmental gradients in a variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, including small fishes and macroinvertebrates in the Florida Everglades, zooplankton in built ponds near Baltimore, and microbial communities in soil and freshwater habitats in the dry valleys in Antarctica. Eric is the lead Principal Investigator for the LTER Metacommunities Synthesis working group supported by the LTER National Communications Office. He has also developed a Metacommunity Simulation package (MCSim) for the R statistical language, which can be used to test hypotheses about how dispersal and species-sorting dynamics can affect biodiversity outcomes.
More about the LTER Metacommunities working group:
More about metacommunity simulations and the MCSim package for R:
Sokol, E. R., B. L. Brown, and J. E. Barrett. 2016. A simulation-based approach to understand how metacommunity characteristics influence emergent biodiversity patterns. Oikos. doi:10.1111/oik.03690
Sokol, E. R., B. L. Brown, C. C. Carey, B. M. Tornwall, C. M. Swan, and J. E. Barrett. 2015. Linking management to biodiversity in built ponds using metacommunity simulations. Ecological Modelling 296:36–45. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.10.022
Sokol, E. R., J. M. Hoch, E. Gaiser, and J. C. Trexler. 2014. Metacommunity structure along resource and disturbance gradients in Everglades wetlands. Wetlands 34:135–146. doi:10.1007/s13157-013-0413-1
Sokol, E. R., E. F. Benfield, L. K. Belden, and H. M. Valett. 2011. The assembly of ecological communities inferred from taxonomic and functional composition. The American naturalist 177:630–644. doi:10.1086/659625