In my doctoral research, I explore how forests will respond to increases in droughts and heatwaves projected under climate change, by studying the impacts of the 2011 drought on the forests and woodlands of Texas. We have developed remote sensing approaches that improve monitoring of forest disturbances from droughts and heatwaves at regional scales. We have also explored two modeling approaches, to improve forecasts of forest vulnerability to future droughts and heatwaves. Firstly, at the regional scale, across Texas we identified climatic anomalies associated with spatial patterns of canopy loss and forecasted how often these thresholds were likely to be surpassed in the future. Secondly, at the watershed scale, we built a quantitative model of soil moisture dynamics across a landscape, while accounting for spatial differences in aspect, topography, and soils. We then tested for the importance of incorporating landscape diversity when projecting future water stress.
My research interests include drought-induced tree mortality, global change ecology, remote sensing, geospatial analysis, landscape ecology, and conservation biology
I'm drawn to ecological questions relevant to large spatial scales, that require remote sensing & geospatial analysis and the integration of spatial datasets across agencies and platforms. In my research I predominantly use the following programing languages: R, IDL/ENVI API, Python/ArcPy, and MATLAB.