Our current projects

Individual history

Individual history

The events that occur in an individual's life can affect that individual in the long-term, and this impact can extend to long-term influences on population dynamics. We are studying the ecological and evolutionary dimensiomns of these impacts, and creating tools to study them.

Mycorrhizal specialization

Mycorrhizal specialization

Some plants obligately depend on mycorrhizal fungi, even for their energy. Yet, these specialists are rarely specialized on just one mycorrhizal fungal species. What determines the breadth of the mycorrhizal interaction, and why do plants and fungi interact with the partners that they have?

Drivers of demography

Drivers of plant demography

Why do plant populations vary in demographic response to climatic variation? How does genetic composition interact with environment to determine population dynamics? We work with herbaceous perennials to answer these questions.

Predicting evolution

Evolution of life histories in response to rapid climate change

We are using long-term demographic monitoring of long-lived plants to assess how sprouting and flowering behavior is likely to change under state-of-the-art climate predictions.

Evolution of mycoheterotrophy

Evolution of mycoheterotrophy

We are analyzing long-term demographic data and parameterizing evolutionary models to understand why so many plant species have evolved to parasitize mycorrhizal fungi, instead of photosynthesizing.

Evolution of sprouting

Adaptive dynamics of sprouting

Why can so many photosynthetic plants live for years as rootstock with photosynthesizing? We address this question with a variety of evolutionary methods, including reconstructing trait evolution and game theoretical modeling. Our research has been featured in the news media, including on Nexus Media, Science Daily, or the Daily Mail.

Evolution of senescence

Plant and fungal senescence

We generally believe all organisms will senesce if they live long enough, but empirical assessments and some theory suggest otherwise. What determines how senescence evolves across the Tree of Life?


Mark-recapture methodology for dormancy-prone perennials

Plants may not move away from where they are rooted, but they can still be hard to find, especially if they do not need to sprout every year. We have developed methods for estimating demographic parameters in the face of such difficulties.

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