Disturbance Ecology Soil Biology Plant-Soil Interactions Community Ecology
Local adaptations and forest disturbance-- I study tree defenses against insects and fungi along climatic/elevational gradients. My goal is to understand how adaptations to local climate will influence interactions among trees and pests as climate change promotes disturbances and insect range shifts (collaboration with Jeffry Mitton, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Jeffrey Kane, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA; and Joseph Langenhan, Seattle University, Seattle, WA).
Microbial community structure and soil processes-- I investigate patterns and processes of soil microbial community assembly following disturbances such as wildfires and tree death. My goal is to understand how microbial communities 'reassemble' and influence ecosystem functions after disturbances of varying intensity (collaboration with Diana Nemergut, Duke University, Durham, NC).
Soil biocrusts and climate change -- I measure the responses of soil biocrusts and nutrient pools to experimental warming and precipitation manipulations in desert ecosystems of the Colorado Plateau. My goal is to determine how climate change impacts on the biological communities living on the soil surface will affect soil processes (work done with the Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, UT) Arthropod community ecology-- I study the responses of ground-dwelling arthropods to tree mortality in conifer forests of the mountain west. My goal is to understand how disturbances of varying intensity and scale impact forest ecology across spatial and temporal gradients (work done at the CU-Mountain Research Station, Nederland, CO).