As a scientist, I conduct research to examine how ecosystems change over space and time. I’m particularly interested in natural disturbances (e.g., wildfire, insect outbreaks, disease and pathogens), which often catalyze large-magnitude changes in forests. Natural disturbances are critical to maintaining ecosystem integrity (and the provision of services we gain from ecosystems), as many species are adapted to disturbances or the conditions they create. For example, many of the forests that we know and love today established following severe wildfires hundreds of years ago. However, disturbances are understandably at odds with the built (human) environment because of their destructive nature. Understanding the causes and consequences of ecological disturbances is not only fascinating, but absolutely critical for informing environmental management and policy. My research uses a variety of approaches across spatial scales to examine how disturbances and climate change interact to shape ecosystems. By using and advancing theory in in forest ecology, landscape ecology, and disturbance ecology, my research connects scientific understanding to responsible and effective forest management.
I am currently a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Colorado – Boulder. In 2014, I completed my PhD in the Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology Lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
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