Lab

I am an Assistant Professor of Conservation Science in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, and an Associate Fellow at the Institute on the Environment.

Sustaining both biodiversity and the benefits nature provides to people (i.e., ecosystem services) is a major challenge for scientists and managers. Achieving both goals is complicated by accelerating global environmental change. In response, my lab’s research combines global change ecology, community ecology, and conservation science and uses quantitative tools from multiple disciplines to understand how ecosystems provide benefits to people, how global change will alter these relationships, and how to best adapt management in response.

I combine theoretical and empirical approaches to address various questions at the interface of conservation ecology, global change ecology, community ecology, and natural resource economics. My interests span multiple ecosystem types (e.g., marine and coastal ecosystems, forests, grasslands), I analyze large-datasets from different scales (local, regional, and global), and I leverage quantitative tools from several disciplines (e.g., network theory, causal inference approaches from econometrics, decision science, and functional trait ecology).

I combine theoretical and empirical approaches to understand and predict the climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their sustainable management. My interests span multiple spatial scales and ecosystem types (e.g., forests, grasslands, coastal and marine ecosystems). A major research interest is causal inference in observational ecological and social-ecological data. To learn more about my lab’s research, please visit the publications and research pages.

To tackle complex conservation and sustainability challenges, our lab leads and contributes regularly to collaborative and interdisciplinary teams that focus on synthesis science (e.g., working with biologists, sociologists, economists, ecosystem ecologists, geographers, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and conservation practitioners). This work aims to inform resource and land management strategies for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services that will be robust to climate change and uncertainty.

My Ph.D. research, at the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, focused on the impacts of temperature variability and biodiversity on global fisheries yields and the extent to which managing for ecosystem services provides an economic incentive for conservation. I completed a concurrent MA in Economics at UCSB, advised by Drs. Christopher Costello and Dick Startz. As a post-doctoral associate at the University of Minnesota, I examined how climate change affects ecosystem services provided by boreal forests and management strategies to reduce those impacts in a project co-advised by Peter Reich and Steve Polasky.