I am a graduate of the ecology program in the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology (JDPE) with UC Davis, which I entered in 2005 in the Restoration Ecology area of emphasis. At San Diego State University I was co-advised by Drs. Janet Franklin and David Lipson; at UC Davis I worked with Dr. Truman Young. I have also worked with the Soil Ecology & Restoration Group (SERG) at SDSU.
My research interests are in plant, community, and ecosystem ecology, plant-microbial interactions, nutrient cycling, invasion and restoration.
My current projects examine how changes in plant communities affect 1) dominant rhizosphere microbial community structure (composition, abundance & associations), 2) the spatial structure of above and below-ground communities, and 3) nitrogen cycling dynamics, including potential changes in niche-partitioning of nitrogen sources by dominant plant species.
The majority of my research is set in the endemic southern California terrestrial plant community, coastal sage scrub (CSS). CSS occurs in a Mediterranean climate, with wet winters and dry summers. CSS tends to be locally dominated by few perennial shrub species, with seasonal blooms of annuals. It has been estimated that CSS has been reduced to ca. 90% of its historical range due to pastoralism, agriculture and urban development. The remaining area is habitat for over 90 taxa of plants and animals that are listed as rare, threatened or endangered. As such, there is a pressing conservation need to better understand all of the processes that affect CSS. As it exists within a large gradient of exotic species cover, CSS also serves as a model system to study the effects of invasives on microbial and nutrient cycling processes.
This research is being conducted at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, run by SDSU's Field Stations Program. This reserve is home to some of the few remaining stands of relatively intact CSS.
I'm also engaged in a smaller project in collaboration with Dr. Margaret Andrew, studying the invasive mustard Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium). We are examining how Lepidium impacts soil chemical and biological properties in the Sacramento-San Juaquin Delta in the time immediately after invasion, using a known invasion history starting in 2004. Dr. Andrew received her Ph.D. with Dr. Susan Ustin of UC Davis, and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in Victoria, B.C., Canada.
In my previous incarnations before coming back to school and pursuing the doctorate, I lived in Sonoma County, California. I worked in the laboratory of a fairly large winery for a spell, then in the Operations and Clinical Research departments of a medical device company. Prior to that I lived in Santa Cruz, Ca, where I attended university. In my last year at UCSC I worked in the lab of Dr. Ingrid Parker, who I would recommend to anyone.
San Diego State University:
San Diego State University
Ecology Program Area
Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology (JDPE)
Dr. Janet Franklin & Franklin Lab Main Page
Dr. David Lipson
SDSU Field Stations Program
Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve (SMER)
Soil Ecology & Restoration Group (SERG)
University of California Davis:
University of California, Davis
Graduate Group in Ecology (GGE)
Restoration Ecology Area of Emphasis (AOE)
Dr. Truman Young
Center for Spatial Technologies And Remote Sensing, Dr. Susan Ustin
Coastal sage Scrub:
CSU Pomona (includes many interesting links)
California Dept. of Fish & Game
From the Fish & Wildlife Service (includes a map of remaining stands)
World Wildlife Fund scientific report
UCLA Urban Science program
A flora from the City of Riverside Municipal Museum
Western Riverside County MSHCP CSS community pictures
Las Pilitas Nursery
Last updated 21 Jan 2009