Global change in terrestrial ecosystems

Spice bush
Welcome! As a plant and forest community ecologist, I am interested in tracing human impacts across terrestrial landscapes. Direct and indirect effects from invasive species to rising temperatures are at the forefront of my scientific inquiries. I use a variety of techniques to answer in-depth, as well as broader questions about the changes currently transpiring in natural systems.

 

Study Systems

I conduct my research in various systems, from grasslands to mixed conifer to subalpine forests. These systems provide critical ecosystem services and are impacted by invasive species and climate change. They also offer endless opportunities for scientific explorations, both outside in the backcountry and inside the lab.

Research

I am broadly interested in invasive species and climate change impacts across terrestrial systems. I combine applied and theoretical questions to further our understanding of ecosystem processes that improve ecosystem management.

Foxtail
High elevation forests and global change

Using manipulative experiments and long-term monitoring data from grasslands, mixed conifer, and high elevation forests, I seek to explain emerging shifts within communities.

News

Spring 2019

Class of 2019 Smith Fellows!

I am honored to join the amazing Smith Fellows 2019 cohort! This fall, I am heading to UC Davis and will work with Andrew Latimer, Connie Millar and Phil van Mantgem on whitebark pine research and conservation. See more about the project here.

It phinally happened – I graduated! Profound thanks to my brilliant advisor, John Battles, and my incredible mentors, Katharine Suding, Richard Hobbs, and Nathan Stephenson who were integral in making this PhD a success! Here’s a link to my phinishing “ted talk”.

We had an out-of-this-time super bloom in Southern California this year! I finally got a glimpse of what John Muir wrote about years ago before the invasive grasses outcompeted our native forbs. Plant Love Stories featured my super bloom love story on their website. Also had fun making a video of some of the best wildflower shows I’ve ever seen!

Winter 2019

Photo won “Best Overall” at the 2019 ESPM Grad Fest

My writing piece on last summer’s research was selected and featured by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. See the full story here!

Fall 2018

Wilding pines in New Zealand

Our paper was published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution. We discuss the importance of considering novel elements and ecosystems in resilience-based management. Novelty is a double edged sword. Some novelty is critical for long-term ecosystem resilience, while novelty can also lead to undesirable outcomes, including a reduction of biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Identifying how we embrace or reject novelty in natural resource management is becoming increasingly important in an era of global change. CNR press release here.