My current research projects address population ecology of the single mountain endemic platn species Packera franciscana and Erigeron mancus, and, on a retional scale, examine the climate change effects on timberline elevation and on over one hundred alpine plant species distribution.
My research studies are in plant biogeography and applied ecology, especially plant distribution along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, alpine plant species distribution in the Southern Rocky Mountains, and ponderosa pine and Engelmann spruce tree spatial patterns.
Past research has included studies on post-fire crown damage mortality thresholds in ponderosa pine, post-fire effects on ponderosa pine systems, exotic plant species in Northern Arizona ponderosa pine forests, vegetation ecology of Colorado Plateau hanging gardens, and fish ecology in Ozark freshwater streams.
In the past, plant species have migrated in response to naturally changing conditions. Current global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions may also cause plant species to migrate or change population size as current local climatic conditions change. Land managers in the Forest Service need to know whether alpine treelines are moving upslope and which plant species may respond the most strongly to climate change. This research will provide species distribution and abundance data on which to base land management decisions.