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 biological soil crusts and neighboring plant communities to climate manipulations in cool desert ecosystems of the Colorado Plateau. My goal is to determine how climate change will impact theses communities and ultimately affect soil processes (work done with the Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, UT) Arthropod community ecology-- I study the responses of ground-dwelling arthropods and understory vegetation to tree mortality in conifer forests of the mountain west. My goal is to understand how these groups respond to disturbances of varying intensity with a focus on spatial and temporal community assembly patterns (work done at the University of Colorado's Mountain Research Station, Boulder, CO).