Research

My research as a plant ecologist focuses on the ecology and evolution of plant life-history, and how life-history shapes ecological interactions in the context of environmental variability. This work addresses fundamental conceptual issues in ecology, but is also motivated by the need to understand biodiversity and ecosystem response to pervasive environmental change, and predict how these changes will affect human societies and economies. 

Stochastic life-history theory

Life-history theory states that organisms should solve trade-offs in resource use to maximize fitness. My theoretical research focuses on plant life-history evolution in the context of environmental … [Read more...]

Masting, forest productivity, and maple sugaring

One particularly interesting life-history strategy is masting, the episodic and synchronous production of seeds over large geographic areas. Masting is hypothesized to improve fitness via economies of … [Read more...]

Climate change and the culture of maple syrup

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple collected in the late winter and early spring. Native American tribes have collected and boiled down sap for centuries, and the tapping of maple … [Read more...]

Masting and mortality in white bark pine

Whitebark pine is a masting species of high elevation forest ecosystems in western North America. Whitebark pine is a foundation species in high elevation forests because it facilitates stand … [Read more...]

Microclimate and plant performance across an elevation gradient in the eastern Andes

The eastern Andes have one of the longest continuously forested elevational gradients in the world. I have been studying this extraordinarily diverse ecosystem with colleagues in the Andes … [Read more...]