The Six Lab is a diverse place. We work on many questions from many different angles: everything from evolution to ecology to management and effects of global change, and from the micro- to the landscape level. Most of our work focuses in one way or another on bark or ambrosia beetles and their interactions with fungi. But sometimes studies on fire or invasives sneak in, just 'cause we find them interesting. Our work occurs in many places. Some of our work is local (Montana and surrounding states) and some not so local (southern Africa, Asia, Australia and Mexico).
Life of Pine
The recent mountain pine beetle outbreak has been the biggest in history. In "Life of Pine," hear about what has driven this outbreak to be so severe and what we may learn from looking at the survivors.
"There is an eerie feel to this grove of lodgepole pines that I can’t quite put my finger on as entomologist Diana Six tromps ahead of me, hatchet in hand, scanning the southwestern Montana woods for her target. But as she digs the blade into a towering trunk, it finally hits me: the smell...."
Ecological stoichiometry is the tracking of elements through ecosystems. We have used this approach to understand how symbiotic fungi provide phosphorus and nitrogen to their host bark beetles.
Niche construction theory can link bark beetle-fungus symbiosis type and colonization behavior to large-scale causal chain-effects.