My dissertation work explores the impacts of changing forest disturbance regimes on resilience at the landscape, stand/community, and physiological levels. I research interactions between abiotic and biotic disturbances (wildfire and an emerging forest disease, Sudden Oak Death) in the mixed evergreen and redwood-tanoak forests of Big Sur. There, I work to understand the effects of Sudden Oak Death on post-fire regeneration and, conversely, the impacts of fire behavior and climate change on future epidemiology in disturbed areas. I am also fascinated by the physiology of forest sprouting, and the role that vegetative reproduction and hardwood components may play in the Western United States' changing forests.
My specific research topics include:
1) Understanding the balance between sprouting (vegetative) and seeding (sexual) forest regeneration modes under changing disturbances regimes (Wildfire + Sudden Oak Death): Forecasting forest succession.
2) Post-fire Epidemiology: How does burn severity and extent of post-fire regrowth influence the incidence or Phytophthora ramorum and Sudden Oak Death disease severity in disturbed systems?
3) Impacts of multiple stressors (wildfire, disease, and seasonal drought) on the post-fire physiology of two sprouting hardwood species.
4) Resilience of hardwood residents and recruits under changing fire and climate scenarios.
I have also served as Ecology Graduate Student Association Co-Chair and am one of the founders of the California Phenology Project at Stebbins Cold Canyon, a new citizen science project in the UC Natural Reserve System.
I received a dual undergraduate degree in Biology and Visual Art (BA, Duke University, 2010) and am passionate about using art to talk about my science. In addition to my research, I'm happy to talk to any kindred spirits about visual science communication and interdisciplinary efforts in art-science fusion!
(530) 754-9894 (lab)