I am a theoretical and computational ecologist. My research program aims to forecast the dynamics of ecological systems under unforeseen environmental conditions, and under incomplete information about the entire system. To this end, my work centers on developing rigorous theory through interdisciplinary tools, devising monitoring-applicable metrics, and validating these approaches with empirical data from a broad range of ecosystems.
I will join the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as an Assistant Professor in Summer 2024. I am currently a postdoc with Jonathan Levine at Princeton University. I was previously a postdoc co-supervised by Andrew Gonzalez at McGill University and Marie-Josée Fortin at University of Toronto. I received a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT under the supervision of Serguei Saavedra, and a BS in Mathematics from Zhejiang University under the supervision of Yang-Yu Liu.
I am currently a subject-matter editor at Ecological Monographs and a data editor at Ecology Letters. I have served as a council member of Ecological Society of America and as the secretary of Theoretical Ecology Section.
You can reach me via email: clsong.ecology AT gmail DOT com.
PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2016 - 2020
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BSc in Mathematics, 2013 - 2016
How to make robust assessment when only small subsets of ecosystems can be monitored
Under what conditions different theoretical approaches tell a similar story, and what can be learned when they do not coincide.
Exploring the full landscape of priority effects with graph theory and algebraic topology
How the architecture of species interactions affects species coexistence in fluctuating environemnts
Our lab currently has openings for graduate students and postdoc scholars!
The lab has openings for 1-2 PhD students who are passionate about ecology with a strong quantitative background. The lab accepts students through the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. The deadline for application is December 1st. More information about the program can be found on this page www.eeb.ucla.edu/doctoral-program/.
Our lab believes in fostering a space where students can chase their research curiosities and passions. To ensure a symbiotic mentor-mentee relationship, we hope your interests resonate with one or more of the following: species coexistence, priority effects/community assembly, eco-evolutionary dynamics, ecological time series, and spatial pattern analysis.
Selecting an advisor that suits your interests and needs is critical to being happy and successful. I’d appreciate the opportunity to connect before applying. To start a conversation, please drop me an email with:
If you’re interested in joining the lab, please email me a description of your research interests, goals for your postdoc and a CV with contact information for 2-3 references to start a conversation.