Our approach reflects a synthetic approach to science and engineering that is usually problem-driven. Since most interesting questions do not come nicely packaged, we use whatever is needed to answer them, including field observations (e.g. in Namibia, India, USA), physical and biological experiments (e.g. in our lab, at the Concord Field Station),  computational experiments (e.g. deterministic and stochastic simulation), and theory (particularly qualitative methods, e.g. scaling, asymptotics,  geometry and topology).

There are two simple motivations for our work:

  1. To explain the world as it is, driven by a curiosity about natural phenomena that are easy to perceive, often not so easy to understand, and usually of far more interest and relevance than the immediate instances at hand.
  2. To imagine a world that never was, by creating quantitative approaches for the description, design and control of both (artificially) engineered and (biologically) evolved systems.