I am an Assistant Professor of Large-scale Ecology and Conservation in the EBIO department.
Sustaining both biodiversity and the benefits nature provides to people (i.e., ecosystem services) is a major challenge for scientists and managers. Achieving both goals is complicated by accelerating global environmental and climate change. In response, my lab’s aims to (1) quantify the impacts of global changes, like disturbances, climate variability, and biodiversity change, on ecosystems, their functions, and their contributions to society; (2) understand how ecosystems provide benefits to people, how global change will alter these relationships, and how to best adapt conservation in response.
I combine global change ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and conservation science and uses quantitative tools from multiple disciplines, including both theoretical and empirical modeling approaches . My interests span multiple spatial scales and ecosystem types (e.g., forests, marine and coastal ecosystems, grasslands), I analyze large-datasets from different scales (local, regional, and global), and I leverage quantitative tools from several disciplines (e.g., ecological theory, network theory, causal inference approaches from econometrics, decision science, and functional trait ecology). For example, a major research interest is causal inference and program evaluation in observational ecological and social-ecological data. To learn more about my lab’s research, please visit the research page.
To tackle complex conservation and sustainability challenges, my lab leads and contributes regularly to collaborative and interdisciplinary teams that focus on synthesis science (e.g., working with other ecologists, biologists, sociologists, economists, geographers, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and conservation practitioners). This work aims to inform conservation and land management strategies that will be robust to climate change and uncertainty.
Recent Awards: I was seleted as a Early Career Fellow of Ecological Society of America in 2022 and a Rising Star in Ecology for the Atwood Colloquium at University of Toronto EEB (2023). I received the Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award by the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2020, and am currently a Research & Innovation Office Faculty Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I was previously an Affiliate Fellow at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and I received the 2018 Innovations in Sustainability Science Award from Ecological Society of America, for exemplifying leading-edge work on solutions to sustainability challenges. I have held leadership roles in international, regional, and local science-policy and management engagement efforts, including as a lead and contributor author for Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Americas and Global reports.
Past Training and Education: My Ph.D. research in Ecology, at UC Santa Barbara, focused on the impacts of temperature variability and biodiversity on global fisheries yields and the extent to which managing for ecosystem services provides an economic incentive for conservation. I completed a concurrent MA in Economics at UCSB, advised by Drs. Christopher Costello and Dick Startz. As a post-doctoral associate at the University of Minnesota, I examined how climate change and extreme disturbances affects boreal forests and the ecosystem services they provide (co-advised by Peter Reich and Steve Polasky). I was previously an Assistant Professor of Conservation Science in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, and an Associate Fellow at the Institute on the Environment. I received my BS in Marine Biology from Brown University.