I am a Research Ecologist with the Maintaining Resilient Dryland Ecosystems program of the Rocky Mountain Research Station. My interests include understanding ecosystems under different drivers and integrating ecosystem changes with ecosystem and wildlife management at multiple scales across many extents. Current research involves historical ecosystems of open forests maintained by fire, tree biomass simulations under climate change, and juniper tree encroachment in grasslands and shrublands.
Analysis and management of disturbance effects including fire and fire exclusion, climate change, and land use on terrestrial ecosystems, natural resources, and wildlife at multiple scales, with particular focus on open oak and pine ecosystems. Oak and pine savannas and woodlands are part of a continuum between grasslands and closed forests. The unique bipartite characteristics of grasslands with a tree overstory are not recognized and therefore, undervalued for conservation and management.
My past research ranges across many topics, including forests, wildlife, fire, and climate during postgraduate work at University of Missouri and graduate work at Mississippi State University.
Open forests and grasslands have decreased by >98% in the eastern US, while in the Great Plains and western US, open forests and grasslands also have decreased. Birds, pollinators, plants, and other associated species have decreased with habitat loss and fragmentation at landscape scales, and degradation within remnants.