Master of Science Fish & Wildlife Management
Department of Ecology
Montana State University

Professional Interests

I am interested in how community assemblages are formed, particularly through disturbance, biological invasion, and anthropogenic effects. Understanding how communities are formed in the face of environmental change provide insight to restoring or reclaiming native biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Furthermore, exploring multi-trophic interactions between communities can provide insight to how ecosystems may be impacted by anthropogenic effects, such as with the introduction of invasive species. I explore the direct and indirect impacts of invasive plant species on native communities for my graduate research at Montana State University, as well as with collaborators from other institutions.

Specifically, my interests are in:

Animal-Plant Interactions
Community Ecology
Insect Ecology
Invasive Species Management
Restoration Ecology
Wildlife-Habitat Interactions

For further information and experience, please see my Curriculum Vitae .

Current Research

Soil Modification as a Restoration Tool to Reduce Old World Bluestems
Nonnative plant species can alter community dynamics, ecosystem processes, and soil chemistry in landscapes where they become dominant. Old World bluestem grasses( Bothriochloa spp, Dichanthium spp, or OWB for short) provide a good example, having altered native bird, mammal, and arthropod communities in the central and southern Great Plains region. As traditional management tools have not successfully reduced dominance of OWB grasses, alternative tools are being sought for prairie restoration. As part of my graduate research, I am applying a variety of novel restoration tools that modify biological, chemical, and physical properties of the soil to determine 1) if soil treatments are successful in reducing OWB dominance in invaded landscapes, 2) if native plant species richness and dominance in treated landscapes are comparable to adjacent native plant communities, 3) if arthropod communities in treated landscapes are comparable to adjacent native plant communities, and 4) if soil modification can be used as a practical tool for landowners in restoring wildlife in OWB-dominant landscapes.My current research is being conducted at the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation, a Gulf coastal prairie ecosystem in South Texas.

Funding is provided in part by Welder Wildlife Fellowship and external grants provided by my collaborators, South Texas Natives and Dr. Andrea Litt , my primary advisor.

Starting Date: Summer 2011
Completetion Date: August 2013

Additional Information

For further information on my graduate research, please see my proposal. For the latest abstract on my preliminary results, please look here. I will continue to update this section when possible to provide the latest information on my research, including conference abstracts and presentations.

Looking for Collaboration?

I have amassed an extensive collection of arthropods and plant data from the Welder Wildlife Foundation in both invaded and noninvaded areas, the majority of which have not been sampled for many years. As such, I am collaborating with other institutions in the fields of biodiversity and insect ecology, some of which have led to the discovery of new species. If you have interest in investigating arthropod diversity or habitat characteristics in Gulf Coastal Prairies, please feel free to contact me (see below).

Additionally, I have assisted in the identification of arthropods for independent projects throughout the US, and am willing to assist collaborators in identifying specimens (some restrictions may apply). Contact me for further inquiries.

Contact Information

Tel: (406) 994-2640 (Office)
Location:28 AJM Johnson Hall (Office)
                231 AJM Johnson Hall (Lab)
                PO Box 173460
                Bozeman, MT 59717-3460

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