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~ Jens, Andrew and Hugh Safford's Joint Fire Science Program proposal funded! We'll look at effects of forest thinning on snowpack dynamics.
~ Katie Eskra co-led the KiDS (Kids into Discovering Science) Program this year in the public elementary schools of Lower Lake, CA.
~ Jens Stevens was nominated again for the ARCS Award for outstanding graduate students of science, medicine and engineering in California.
~ Melis Akman (Ph.D Amsterdam University) joined the lab to work on the genetics and genomics of trait evolution in Protea and Pelargonium.
Our group studies how environmental variation affects plant communities, populations, species and lineages. We are especially interested in how plants respond to change -- rapid major disturbance such as fire, as well as more gradual changes in climate. At the shortest time scales, we are focusing on how communities and populations respond to drought and fire, and how invasive species respond to novel habitat. Over longer time scales, we examine local adaptation to gradients in climatic conditions and to variability in those conditions. At the longest time scales, we are also interested in how lineages change as they encounter novel conditions and diversify. Much of our work involves fire, since this plays such a major role in the ecology and evolution of Mediterranean climate floras and in local land management here in California. Our research on the interactions among fire, vegetation, and climate has direct application to forest management in an era of climate and land use change.