Environmental change created by humans is one of the major challenges facing the survival of many species and ecosystems.  In particular, landscape destruction and climate change is having an impact on biodiversity loss across the globe. Using an interdisciplinary approach, my research addresses complex questions at the intersection of ecology, evolution, and animal behavior. I am passionate about conservation science, and I am inspired by the scientific advances that better inform efforts to combat environmental threats. My research has combined new methods from field ecology, genetics, and remote sensing to document habitat change in multiple environments, and measure its effect on the viability of plant and animal species. My research program is directed toward using this information to predict species responses to continued environmental change, and direct conservation efforts to mitigate biodiversity loss. How does climate and environmental change affect the reproduction, dispersal, and evolution of plant and animal species? 

Reproduction – The potential for future population stability 
Plant reproduction determines the ability of a species to maintain local populations through continued establishment. In addition, the mechanisms through which new individuals establish determines the genetic variation and evolutionary potential of local populations. I’ve worked with several species investigating the impact of climate, pollinator availability, seed predation, and soils on the reproductive ability plants and the dominant reproductive mode. 

Dispersal – Maintaining genetic diversity and population resilience 
Dispersal is the great homogenizing force that maintains genetic connectivity among populations counteracting genetic drift and natural selection. Dispersal ability determines a species potential to establish in newly available habitat, and reproduce with other populations. A large portion of my work examines how landscape and climatic changes influence the likelihood of continued gene flow into the future.

Evolution – Adapting to climatic and environmental change  

In the face of environmental or climatic change outside of a species normal tolerance, those unable to relocate must adapt to new conditions or face extinction. I have worked in several ecosystems where human induced influences have led to significant shifts to detect the signature of selection currently underway.