Broadly, I am interested in the ways in which humans interact with their environment. I’ve help perform or have led greenhouse, field, observational, and simulation experiments. My academic background is in Environmental Biology and Psychology.

Current research

How should we incorporate connectivity when designing a Marine Protected Area network?

Canada has committed to protecting “10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through …  systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures” 1 in order to conserve biodiversity. The effectiveness of these protected areas depends their design and implementation2. Specifically, these protected areas should be connectivity to allow individuals to move between them.

In my MSc, I used the Canadian Pacific Ocean as a study system to understand where these Marine Protected Areas should be placed to ensure connectivity between protected areas for multiple species and across time.

Conservation prioritization of the British Columbia coast

Past research

Do differences in phenology facilitate or inhibit coexistence between competitors? 3, 4

In a greenhouse experiment, I manipulated germination timing of competing plants and quantified how this affected their ability to co-exist/outcompete each other. Analysis ongoing. 

P1000654
Greenhouse design (Vulpia microstachys and Vulpia octoflora competing within pots)

How will climate change impact species ranges?

A common prediction is that climate change will result in a contracted southern range and extended northern range for species above the equator. 5, 6 I tested how climate change could affect a host of Boreal forest species in Northern Ontario and how new species could move into this region. Analysis ongoing.

Tree project pic
Climate suitability maps created in Maxent for Black Spruce (Picea mariana) for current climate (2000s) and projected future climate (2050s)

References:
1. Convention on Biological Diversity. 2010. Tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Decision X/2. Nagoya, Japan. 18 – 29, October 2010.
2.Gaines, S.D., Lester, S.E., Grorud-Colvert, K., Costello, C., and Pollnac, R. 2010. Evolving science of marine reserves: New developments and emerging research frontiers. PNAS 107: 18251-18255.
3. Chesson, P. 2000. Mechanisms of Maintenance of Species Diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31: 343-366.
4. Godoy, O., and Levine, J.M. 2014. Phenology effects on invasion success: insights from coupling field experiments to coexistence theory. Ecology 95: 726-736.
5. Parmesan, C., and Yohe, G. 2003. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421: 37-42.
6. Davis, M.B., and Shaw, R.G. 2001. Range shifts and adaptive responses to Quaternary climate change. Science 292: 673-679.