I am a plant community ecologist interested in the connections among species diversity, ecosystem processes and human management. My research spans natural and agricultural landscapes, with a focus on savannas and grasslands.
I am interested in questions exploring interesting ecological phenomena or addressing local management and conservation needs. To answer these types of questions, my research projects are grounded in their individual locations and contexts. I also use a variety of approaches, from observational surveys of natural communities to controlled field and greenhouse experiments.
My approach to teaching emphasizes guiding students toward being effective, open-minded observers of their surroundings and providing them with tools to analyze and think critically about the data they gather. Many students take ecology because of their passion for nature, and I believe harnessing this energy helps them achieve their learning goals.
As a mentor I engage personally with junior scholars to help them attain their individual goals. I strive to provide a collaborative, welcoming atmosphere for everyone working with me on research projects. My mentoring experience includes advising of high school students, undergraduates, and K-12 educators.