Major adviser: Jeremie Fant
Research interests: Habitat fragmentation; Climate Change; Biodiversity Conservation; Landscape ecology; Community ecology; Plant migrations; Functional ecology; Rare species conservation; Threatened ecosystems
My research investigates how the spatial configuration of habitats influences the ecological strategies of plants across naturally-patchy landscapes. To this purpose, I will use a combination of geospatial analysis, plant community surveys, and a database of species' traits values.
I investigate how select species traits respond to these landscape structure metrics. I predict that combinations of plant traits exist that positively moderate the adverse effects of habitat loss and habitat disintegration. Identifying the traits that mitigate the effects of altered spatial arrangements could partly explain why many naturally fragmented landscapes still hold functionally distinct but stable plant communities.
Ultimately, I aim to assess how the configuration of a fragmented landscape shapes the ecological strategies that species use to persist within it. This understanding could add to ongoing strategies that mitigate extinctions in fragmented landscapes by relating vulnerability to extinction to the trait syndromes associated with persistence rather than to the species themselves.