Research

Weather patterns and competition in post-fire regeneration

My dissertation focuses on how weather patterns shape regeneration and species’ interactions after disturbance. I study conifer seedlings in Sierra Nevada forests under experimentally manipulated weather and competition conditions. This experiment is being combined with a large observational dataset to simulate the effects of climate change on forest recovery after fires.

My field project in chaparral communities at McLaughlin Natural Reserve examines how post-fire weather affects diversity and succession on different soil types. These questions become increasingly urgent in the face of the recent California drought and climate change projections.

Elwha River restoration

I studied early successional patterns on the Elwha river after the largest dam removal project in the United States. Working with the National Park Service’s revegetation team, I found that revegetation communities were impacted by location and the timing of soil exposure, showing the importance of contingency in community assembly after disturbance.

Lasting priority effects in California grasslands

I led a UC Davis graduate student/post doc team to sample a grassland restoration experiment. We found evidence of long-term persistence of priority effects, particularly of native grasses which would otherwise be subordinate to perennial forbs.

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