Research

“A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity.”

Aldo Leopold

My research philosophy and motivation:

The concepts of invasion ecology crosscut ecosystems and can be applied to forest, grassland, desert, and tundra systems. As ecologists and human beings we are responsible for the health of the land, and thus must act as doctors invested in our patients. We need to sit quietly, observe, and listen to what the land is telling us in its current state. Once our observations are collected, we hypothesize and then implement our strategy to restore the land to our notion of “perfect health.” We cannot prescribe a general treatment; instead, by understanding the ecological underpinnings that govern invasion, we assist the land in moving toward self-renewal. Thus, my research focuses on understanding and manipulating the mechanisms of invasion to restore degraded communities.

Past themes of my research have included:

  1. Impacts of soil amendments on soil nutrients, reinvasion, and native plant communities
  2. Enhancing efficacy of herbicides and integrated management in range and cropping systems
  3. Integration and implementation of novel management strategies

Current and future research themes:

  1. Incorporate projected climate changes into ecologically based management strategies
  2. How the spatial setting of an ecosystem within a landscape influence the invasion process and drive optimal management strategies

 

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