Department of Biology, Stanford University
Short Biography & Research Interests
I am a Doctoral Candidate at Stanford University in the Department of Biology and a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and Technology Graduate Fellow. My research centers around the intersection of ecosystems and climate change. Born in southwest Colorado, I grew up fishing, hunting, backpacking, and writing in the Rocky Mountains and return there often for my scientific endeavors. I graduated from Stanford University in 2008 with a B.A. with distinction and honors in Human Biology.
My research focuses around two central themes:
- What is the future of forests in the western United States? Massive mortality events of many tree species in the last decade prompt concerns that drought, insects, and wildfire may devastate western forests in the coming decades. I study how drought and climate change directly affect trembling aspen trees in the Rocky Mountains and what the future climate holds for the emblematic tree of the American West.
- How do we communicate climate science to the public and policy-makers? Communicating expert consensus and scientific understanding, even with inherent uncertainties, is critical to addressing climate change. Recently, I’ve explored the dynamics of expert agreement in communicating the state of climate science.
- 03/2013: Press on our studies examining role of temperature and drought characteristics in aspen die-off (here, here, and here).
- 12/2012: A new study out on extended aspen mortality and future vulnerability to drought (here) and coverage in The New Scientist (here)
- 09/2012: Recent press on our review paper of the consequences of drought-triggered forest die-off (here, here, and here)
- 08/2012: Check out the ongoing NSF-funded “Drought Open-Source Ecology” (DOSE) project to look at the severe 2012 drought on US forests (here)! Drop me an email if you’re interested in being involved.
- 02/2012: Recent press on our physiology of climate-induced widespread aspen die-off study (here)