PhD Candidate (co-advised with Margie Mayfield and Lauren Shoemaker)
I am a community ecologist investigating how species interactions modulate diversity. My Ph.D. research focuses on the role of positive interactions (i.e. facilitation) in promoting species coexistence. This work combined theoretical and experimental work across three plant communities located in Spain, USA, and Australia. My enthusiasm for modeling also led me to search how we can integrate more complexity (higher-order interactions, multitrophic interactions, non-linear functional responses, etc) in our classic individual fitness model.
In the past, I have been investigating (i) the influence of higher-order interactions and community structure on the probability of species persistence, (ii) the importance of the mechanisms associated with niche and fitness differences for coexistence, and (iii) the comparison of interaction outcome and the underlying interaction mechanisms in communities of 4 ecological groups.
Although my main focus is now on grassland ecosystems,
I am enthusiastic about improving our understanding of a wide range of ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic, helping enhance their conservation and restoration.