David Gonthier is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Biology. He completed his PhD at the University of Michigan in 2014 and his Master’s degree at the University of Toledo in 2010.
David’s primary research objective is to understand the importance of biodiversity across natural and managed ecosystems. He focuses on biodiversity within agriculture because land-use conversion and agricultural intensification are the leading causes of biodiversity loss. Yet, the biodiversity found within agroecosystems may directly benefit agricultural productivity and sustainability. His current research attempts to apply ecological knowledge to improve cropping systems and designs in order to maximize ecosystem services while minimizing any negative consequences of agriculture. Specifically, he is using functional trait diversity and phylogenetic diversity of plants in crop fields to minimize the negative effects caused by crop pests and pathogens on crop yield.
David is also an active participant in the Berkeley Food Institute’s Center for Diversified Farming Systems. Along with a team of ecologists, entomologists, rural sociologists, economists and soil scientists, David is studying how ecological diversification affects ecosystem services, how growers’ perceive and experience the benefits and costs of ecological diversification, and how diversification affects the productivity and socioeconomic viability of farming operations.
David’s Website: http://gonthierdavid.wix.com/