Ryan Langendorf
Student Alumni
Environmental Studies

I am an aspiring theoretical ecologist in both the Environmental Studies and Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology programs working on theory and algorithms to infer causality in dynamic ecosystems from observational data. What does that actually mean? Well, I spend my time buried in equations and code, trying to improve the ways ecologists answer questions like “What role does the structure of a food web play in its stability and persistence?”, “What structures of competitive interactions best support restoration efforts?”, “In what ways can we infer dynamics of an unknown community from a heavily studied one?”, “What is the impact of species aggregation on predictions of community stability?”, “Do communities develop in predictable ways with regard to the way they are structured?”, and most importantly, “What are ecological interactions, and how can we realistically and usefully describe them?”. Answering these questions would not be possible without the collaborations and methodological exposure I have found in the IQ Biology program.

Ryan participated in the IQ Biology Program beginning in fall 2012 and was officially accepted in fall 2013. Ryan received a BA in Biology and a minor in Mathematics from Bates College. Ryan completed his lab rotations with Dr. David Bortz in Applied Mathematics, Dr. Michael Hannigan in Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Debra Goldberg in Computer Science and Engineering. Ryan completed his degree in Environmental Studies and his doctoral research in Dan Doak's lab. Ryan graduated in Spring 2018.

Langendorf, R. E., & Doak, D. F. Can community structure causally determine dynamics of constituent species? A test using a host-parasite community. The American Naturalist, In Review.

Langendorf, R. E., & Goldberg, D. S. Aligning statistical dynamics captures biological network functioning. Network Science, In Review.

Langendorf, R. E., & Strode, P. K. (2017) Using spreadsheets to simulate an evolving population. The American Biology Teacher, 79(8), 635-643.

Langendorf, Ryan E. (2017). Mathematics and Biology. The American Biology Teacher, 79(6), 500-501.

National Association of Biology Teachers (2017) Using Spreadsheets to Simulate an Evolving Population

Guild of Rocky Mountain Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists (2016) A comparison of statistical and causal inference in the ecology of a vernal pool plant community

Ecological Society of America (2014) Flow-based network alignment

Rocky Mountain Bioinformatics (2013) Flow-based network alignment

Guild of Rocky Mountain Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists (2013) Topological network inference 

NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2015-2018) NSF DGE-1144083

eCSite Fellow (2014-2015) NSF GK-12 0841423