Research Interests

Current Projects

Restoration Success in the Southwest US

I currently study restoration practices and outcomes as part of a US Geological Survey funded program – Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest – which seeks to improve restoration success in the arid southwestern United States (PIs: Seth MunsonJohn Bradford, Brad Butterfield).

Climate Change and Land-Use in the Colorado Plateau

The goal of this project is to characterize past, present, and future land-use and climate changes in the Colorado Plateau. We (John BradfordMike Duniway, Rudy Schuster, Nina Burkardt) particularly want to know which resources and regions are especially vulnerable to the combination of climate warming and land-use and population growth.

I am also testing the impact of the combination of land-use and facilitation on migration of dominant forest species in response to climate change with a range of migration and climate scenarios and species distribution models.

Past Projects

Severe Drought Impacts on California’s Diverse Flora 

Can we predict the effects of severe drought on plant communities with information from past experiments? From observational studies? How do the spatial and temporal scale of our measurements affect our predictions? I addressed these questions by measuring the response of native plant communities across California to a severe drought in collaboration with Susan Harrison, Andrew Latimer, Ellen Damschen, Marko Spasojevic, Barbara Fernandez, Brian Anacker, and Anu Eskelinen.

Microclimate, Species Interactions, Soil Type & Plant Distribution

For my PhD in Ecology at UC Davis, I investigated how microclimate, soil properties, and interactions between neighboring plants, or between plants and symbiotic fungi, affect plant distribution in the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains.

Changing Precipitation & Nitrogen Deposition in the Brazilian Cerrado (savanna)

I studied how changing precipitation regimes and nitrogen affect grasses in the Brazilian Cerrado for my Master’s  at University of Florida with Emilio Bruna in collaboration with Michelle Mack, Heraldo Vasconcelos, and Laura Barbosa Silva (Universidade Federal de Uberlândia).


I also have a special fondness for orchids. I have studied Andean cloud forest orchids and fungal associations and distribution patterns of ladyslipper species (Cypripedium).