Department of Plant Sciences
Research interests and expertise:
We study how plant populations and communities respond to change, including sudden, major disturbance such as fire and drought, as well as more gradual changes in climate. At the shortest time scales, we are focusing on how communities and populations respond to drought and fire, and how invasive species respond to novel habitats. Over longer time scales, we examine local adaptation to gradients in climatic conditions and to variability in those conditions. Much of our work involves fire, since this plays such a major role in the ecology and evolution of Mediterranean climate floras and in local land management here in California. Our research on the interactions among fire, vegetation, and climate has direct application to forest and rangeland management in an era of climate and land use change.
External activities that contribute to scholarship:
- Faculty Director, UC Davis Natural Reserve System
- Faculty Advisor for Kids into Discovering Science, a local 5th-grade outreach program