Research/Areas of Interest: Ecology and Ecological Physiology

Education

  • PhD, Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, United States, 2011
  • BS, Biology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, United States, 2003

Biography

I am interested in ecology, evolution, population biology, how organisms move through landscapes, and how we can combine these fields to conserve at-risk species.

My graduate work focused on the movement of butterflies in fragmented landscapes. I worked with fruit-feeding nymphalid butterflies and studied how they identified habitat vegetation, how they reacted to habitat edges and how they moved through non-habitat vegetation. These processes have important implications when species are existing in fragmented habitat patches that may be imbedded in inhospitable landscapes.

During my postdoctoral training, I worked with a variety of at-risk butterflies. I studied how habitat management, in the form of prescribed fire, affected populations of the endangered Fender's blue butterfly lcaricia icarioides fenderi in Oregon's Willamette Valley. I found that while fire initially negatively impacted populations, it had positive effects on population growth that began one season post-fire and persisted for several years. I also monitored populations of the state listed frosted elfin Callophrys irus in Massachusetts and studied the movement behavior of Bartram's scrub-hairstreak Strymon acis bartrami in southern Florida. I am currently beginning a project on the way Monarch population dynamics are affected by their shifting phenology and that of their host plants, nectar plants and the parasite OE.