What will human changes to the Earth’s climate and land surface mean for the future of the ecosystems on which we depend, and how can we chart a more sustainable future? My research aims to understand the interactions between natural and human systems, both to elucidate basic mechanisms and to identify leverage points where people can make choices to better balance human needs with sustaining the planet’s life support systems. While I have recently pursued more global-scale analyses, most of my work has focused on the impacts of global change on local and regional scales, where I feel most effectively positioned to engage with managers and policymakers. Having pursued three interdisciplinary environmental degrees, and now as an assistant professor of Sustainability Science, I fully embrace interdisciplinary research. My area of expertise is in global change science, drawing from fields including ecosystem ecology, climate impacts science, and the human dimensions of global change including adaptation and vulnerability.
My current and recent research projects are described below under these four over-arching questions that I use to study the connections between climate, ecosystems, and people (click on the photos to learn more):
Sustainable Land & Ecosystem Services
How can agricultural land be managed to promote benefits to both people and nature?
How can we have a more healthy and sustainable food system?
Climate Change & Wine
How does climate variability and change affect winegrape development, yields, and quality? How are growers responding, and how could they use natural diversity to adapt to climate change?
Responding to Climate Change
How can food security be enhanced through agricultural adaptation to climate change?