The Community Ecology of Invasions: Direct and Indirect Competitive Effects

My PhD research examined the consequences of species invasions on community dynamics.Using invasive ants as a model system, I investigated the role of direct and indirect interactions such as competition and parasitism on resident species. I further developed spatial models to understand under what conditions species can invade communities

The Community Ecology of Pathogens: Coinfection and Spatial Structuring

As a postoc, I am studying the consequences of multiple infections for virulence evolution. Using a joint experimental evolution and modeling approach, I seek to understand how coinfection dynamics shape the evolution of pathogens across different environments.

Vector behavior and infectious disease dynamics

As part of an international working group, we are investigating the role of general vector traits driving coinfection dynamics in humans, plants, and animals .


More Publications

Senay Yitbarek, John H. Vandermeer. 2017. Reduction of species coexistence through mixing in a spatial competition model. Theoretical ecology

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Senay Yitbarek, Ivette Perfecto, John H. Vandermeer. 2017. From insinuator to dominator: Foraging switching by an exotic ant. Diversity and Distributions

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John H. Vandermeer, Senay Yitbarek. 2012. Self-organized spatial pattern determines biodiversity in spatial competition. Journal of Theoretical Biology

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Senay Yitbarek, John H. Vandermeer, Dave Allen. 2011. The Combined Effects of Exogenous and Endogenous Variability on the Spatial Distribution of Ant Communities in a Forested Ecosystem (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Environmental Entomology

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Senay Yitbarek. 2008. Reconsidering Invasive Grass and Mowing Impacts on Native Arthropod Populations in a Restored Grassland. The Berkeley McNair Research Journal



International Association of Black Ecologists.



The Science of Origins (Honors 242).

Genomics in Society (EEB 142)

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEB 315).

Food, Energy, and the Environment (EEB 101).

Introductory Biology (EEB 172 & 173).