Ecologist & Instructor

I received my MS and PhD in Botany at University of Wisconsin-Madison working with Joy Zedler.

My research concerns relationships between wetland structure and function, and how those relationships bear on wetland restoration. One of the recurring recommendations from my work is fairly simple: we should focus on dominant species because, to a large degree, they dictate how wetland restorations turn out (how diverse, how productive, etc.). I've observed trade-offs between wetland diversity and productivity in tidal salt marshes (article in Ecological Applications) and in freshwater marshes and meadows (article in Ecological Engineering); those trade-offs arise when dominant wetland plants become so productive that they exclude the species around themGoing further, our interdisciplinary stormwater research team found evidence that such highly productive dominants might restrict a broader set of ecosystem services, including water quality improvement (article in Ecosystems). One less-productive native dominant that could be planted in much of the U.S. is Carex stricta. I experimented with ways to establish that plant in within a restoration project site, but due to some highly variable weather my growth experiment became a drought experiment (article in Restoration Ecology).

My favorite part of grad school was working with students, so this year I decided to pursue teaching full-time as Science Instructor at Stanford University's Online High School. Or, as I like to think of it, the most innovative high school anyone's ever heard of! (Unfortunately we haven't printed that motto out on any bumper stickers or anything that I'm aware of. yet.) You can find more about Stanford Online High School here and more about my research in the sidebars on this page. Please feel free to contact me for further info!

Thanks for checking out my page!