Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan

Professor and Department Chair

111B Fernow
(607) 255-8213

As a researcher Patrick Sullivan’s objective is to seek a new level of understanding about what drives the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural populations and communities and how they respond to anthropogenic influences. To do this he focuses on the second order effects displayed by these systems, which are typically displayed in patterns in the mean, variance and covariance of processes that can be used to tease out and identify important factors that define these systems. In addition to this he has an interest in and tries to contribute to other research areas including the practical issues surrounding survey design and analysis, database management, and fisheries stock assessment as well as some more philosophical issues such as identifying what is the nature of good science, determining better ways for communicating and utilizing science and statistics, and clarifying scientific responsibility in issues of governance.

Research Focus

As a researcher Sullivan’s objective is to seek a new level of understanding about what drives the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural populations and communities and how they respond to anthropogenic influences. To do this he focuses on patterns in the variance and covariance in these systems that can be used to tease out and identify important factors and processes that define these systems. In addition to this he has an interest in and tries to contribute to other research areas including the practical issues surrounding survey design and analysis, database management, and fisheries stock assessment as well as some more philosophical issues such as identifying what is the nature of good science, determining better ways for communicating and utilizing science and statistics, and clarifying scientific responsibility in issues of governance.

Teaching Focus

His objectives in teaching are to provide students with a useful approach to understanding nature and how humans interact with it. He wants to get them to think clearly and logically about the world and their place in it. He wants them to be motivated to observe, analyze, understand, judge, and act in the context of science but also in relation to their values as human beings. Sullivan does this from a decidedly quantitative perspective, but his motivations are driven by his interests in biology and the philosophy of science.