Climate change, wildlife conservation, Arctic ecosystems, phenology, species interactions.
Climate change is altering biomes across the earth, but its effects have been most rapid and pronounced in the Arctic. Research in my lab focuses on understanding the ecological consequences of climate change in high latitude regions, primarily in the Arctic.
I strive to employ a "big picture" approach by studying effects of climate change on multiple components of arctic terrestrial ecosystems. This includes plants-both above and below ground-as well as animals, including insects, birds, and mammals. My lab places considerable emphasis on how interactions among component parts of terrestrial ecosystems are affected by climate change and how such interactions may feed back to climate. Understanding the effects of climate change in highly vulnerable and rapidly warming regions such as the Arctic can inform us of impacts to come at lower latitudes with further warming. This in turn can help shape wildlife conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Education and Experience:
- BS, 1989 University of Minnesota
- Ph.D., 1995 University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Assistant/Associate/Full Professor Pennsylvania State University (2000-2016)
- Director of The Polar Center at Penn State (2012-2016).
- Engaging K-12 educators in arctic climate change research and education.
- Developing methods of coupling satellite-based and groundbased assessments of vegetation responses to climate change.
- Analyzing consequences of climate change for wildlife population dynamics at the species distribution scale.
- Long-term field monitoring of the effects of climate change in Greenland at the community and ecosystem levels.