Joint Appointment with Southeast Environmental Research Center and Department of Environmental Studies
I am currently a plant community ecologist in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University. My academic training is in Silviculture and Forest Biology, studying at Utah State and Virginia Tech. My post-doctoral research focused on forest dynamics in the southern boreal forest of Alberta. Prior to arriving at FIU, I studied environmental law at Vermont Law School, then joined a National Audubon Society research team working to preserve the ecosystems of the Florida Keys. Throughout my career as an ecologist, my interests have centered on environmental controls on plant community composition and structure, the involvement of these controls in the successional process, and the implications of these dynamics for resource management. My approach often incorporates large-scale field manipulations with pattern analysis based on "natural experiments", usually arrayed along well-defined environmental gradients. Presently, the bulk of my research is directed toward restoration of the mixture of forested and herbaceous coastal wetlands of the greater Everglades ecosystem. My collaborators and I are also working on climate change effects on coastal habitats, disturbance ecology (including hurricanes and fire), plant-soil relationships, and remote sensing of vegetation.