I am a paleoecologist and biogeographer, bringing the perspectives of space and time to bear on questions in ecology and global change science. My work takes a community ecology approach to help understand how individual plant species and their assemblages have responded to interacting drivers (like climate change and extinction) through time. I’m especially interested 1) in how novel ecosystems are formed, 2) the legacies of what I call “biotic upheavals” like the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna, 3) drivers of plant community assembly and disassembly through time, 4) biotic drivers of landscape change on long timescales (like herbivory, competition, or insect outbreaks), and 5) what the paleorecord tells us about the ability of plants to migrate in response to climate change.
In my work, I take an interdisciplinary approach that combines paleoenvironmental reconstructions, modern field experiments, biogeographic data analysis, and modeling of past landscapes. My goal is to help other ecologists, conservationists, and policy makers better understand how ecosystems have responded to past change, in order to make informed decisions about present and future landscapes.
I have recently begun a position as Assistant Professor of Paleoecology and Plant Ecology at the University of Maine, held jointly with the School of Biology & Ecology and the Climate Change Institute. I’m thrilled to be joining a program with a long history of excellent research in ecology, climate change, and Quaternary studies. I’ll be switching this over to a new lab website in coming months — stay tuned!
Feel free to read more about my RESEARCH interests and read one of my recent PUBLICATIONS. I’ve also posted links to RESOURCES I’ve found helpful. You can also check out my blog, THE CONTEMPLATIVE MAMMOTH, and follow me on TWITTER.
You can also read a summary of my research in a nutshell, using only the 1000 most common words in the English language, here.