Texas State University
Department of Biological Science
My research interests are in the area of climate-vegetation interactions, particularly in relation to water in the environment. This topic is relevant to invasion ecology in multiple ways, as climate variability and change may enhance or impede opportunities for plant invasions. A better understanding of environmental effects on competition between invasive and native, non-invasive plant species forms the basis for successful restoration and the maintenance of ecosystem services.
Focus Area 1: Woody encroachment into semi-arid grasslands. How does precipitation or lack thereof affect recruitment, mortality and water use of woody plant encroachers? Focal species: Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and velvet mesquite (P. velutina).
Focus Area 2: Invasion and control of non-native grasses into native grasslands. Can we use the natural variability of native grasslands to slow down invasion or develop better eradication methods? Focal species: King Ranch bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) and Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense).