PhD 2000 McGill University
Graduate Faculty Memberships
Botany; Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (EECB)
Effects of anthropogenic drivers on long-term dynamics and viability of plant populations – including effects of non-timber forest product harvest, fire, grazing, invasive species and climate change.
Local and indigenous resource management systems, especially traditional agroforestry systems, and effects on plant communities (species & functional trait diversity) and plant-animal interactions.
Population ecology and conservation of Native Hawaiian dry and mesic forest plants
Population dynamics of epiphytic bromeliads and orchids
Drivers of resilience and conservation in tropical forest social-ecological systems (‘biocultural’ conservation)
I am interested in understanding the ways in which local use and management of tropical forest resources can be compatible with the conservation of biodiversity. Ninety percent of the world’s tropical forests lie outside of protected areas and most are used in some way by the people who live in and around them. Much of my research focuses on understanding how we can best conserve and restore the ecological integrity of these large tracts of forests subject to multiple kinds of low-intensity uses, but that still hold enormous potential to conserve biodiversity. How can we balance human use and conservation in these areas? How can we maintain or increase the resilience of these systems to global environmental change? My students and I employ a combination of ecological monitoring and field experiments, cutting edge tools in demographic modeling and interviews with local resource users.