As a postdoctoral researcher in the Pearse Lab at Utah State, I am investigating the evolutionary and ecological drivers of species co-occurrence in North America, using data from large-scale projects like NEON and the Breeding Bird Survey.
As a PhD student in the Primack Lab at BU, all of my projects explored the effects of climate change on the timing of seasonal biological events.
Birds and Fruit: Compared to spring events, autumn events have received little attention in climate change and phenology research. However, autumn events like fruit ripening and autumn bird migration have important ecological function; birds use fleshy fruits to fuel migration and in turn they act as seed dispersers for plants. We have partnered with Manomet in Plymouth, MA to determine how warming temperatures affect fruit ripening dates, and how phenology changes and species invasions interact to change fruit availability for migrant songbirds.
Arboreta to Herbaria: I have also used specimens from herbaria and living collections at arboreta to explore spatial, temporal, and phylogenetic variation in fruit ripening times, as well as how fruiting dates are affected by environmental change.
Chilling and Freezing: I have used dormant twigs in lab experiments to investigate the environmental drivers of spring leaf out, as well as the relative risk of spring frost events for young leaves. I am particularly interested in how the growing season lengths of native and invasive woody plant species will be affected by future changes in winter and spring climate.