The natural world motivates my research interests, and my research inspires me to continue investigating certain systems more deeply, and search for new areas to explore. To catalogue and describe floristic diversity, I have been fortunate to collect plants across the Pacific Northwest, the French Alps, New England, and the Sonoran desert. I am particularly interested in alpine ecosystems, but always seek new opportunities to expand my botanical horizons. Below, I briefly highlight a few of my recent expeditions.
Sawtooth National Forest, ID
During 2012 and 2013, I spent the summers collecting alpine plants from different peaks Across the Sawtooth, White Cloud, and Pioneer Mountains in central Idaho. This work was possible with a Stillinger Herbarium Expedition Grant through the University of Idaho, some adventurous friends-turned-field-assistants, and the Sawtooth Mountain Guides, who were incredibly patient with my alpine botanizing. I collected over 500 plants, and used high-throughput approaches to target gene sequence data and estimate evolutionary relationships. Uisng community phylogenetic analyses, I'm illuminating processes that generated the alpine flora that draws people to explore these stunning peaks.
I moved to Grenoble, France in January 2014 to work for a year studying alpine plants at the Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine in collaboration with Dr. Sébastien Lavergne. Besides beginning some really interesting new research projects, I was able to participate in fieldwork in the French Alps. This included high-alpine floristic surveys in the Écrins National Park, and sampling leaf tissue for RNAseq at the Lautaret Alpine Botanic Garden. Here is a very small sample of my pictures from some of these adventures…
Harvard Forest, MA
For my postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona, I sampled leaves from a plant community at Harvard Forest throughout the growing season to quantify plasticity to environmental change at the functional genomic level. This is my first encounter with the flora of New England, and I am amazed by the diversity of ferns and deciduous trees!
Santa Rita experiemtnal Range, az
To compare our findings of genomic plasticity from our first study at Harvard Forest, we decided to sample an ecological community with very different environmental change—the Sonoran desert.