Ecology | Evolution | Conservation
We study the many factors that determine species distributions. Specifically, we are interested in plant adaptation and the processes that lead to both local adaptation and speciation. We use a great variety of methods, from genomics to distribution modeling to field and lab experiments. We also conduct research in a broad set of ecosystems, from deserts to vernal pools to mountains, and at a wide variety of scales, from genes to plant endophytes (e.g., bacteria and fungi) to plant communities. Our current research projects occur in California, Mexico, and Australia and are focused on the effects of environmental change on species range limits, the determinants of specialization (niche breadth), and the role of gene flow on adaptation. We are also focused on understanding vulnerabilities and adaptive responses of plants in the face of global change and we actively engage in interdisciplinary collaborations in order to develop solutions for conserving biodiversity.
Listen to a new podcast on Drought in California at RadioBio that features some of our work with monkeyflowers.
An exciting initiative, the California Conservation Genomics Project, has just been funded by the state! This initiative led by UCLA and involving all UCs will use the latest genomic tools to inform future conservation plans. Read the story.
Plans are being made to build a research center for our UCM Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve. Read the story and learn a bit about the reserve here.
Congratulations to recent graduates, Mimi Pomephimkham (BS) and Abel Campos-Melendez (BS)!
We bid a fond farewell and congratulations to Dr. Dannise Ruiz Ramos, who is beginning a research position with the USGS.
What’s “eDNA?” A paper describing the California environmental DNA (CALeDNA) program has been accepted to the journal California Agriculture as part of a special issue on community (aka citizen) science.
Congratulations to Lillie Pennington and Daniel Toews on advancing to candidacy in their PhD programs!
A paper based on experiments by Erin Dickman and Lillie Pennington showing evidence for rapid adaptation to historic California drought in Sierran monkeyflowers has been published at Evolutionary Applications.
We bid a fond farewell and congratulations to Dr. Molly Stephens, who is beginning an analyst position with Mariposa County.
Congratulations to Jackie Shay and Lillie Pennington for winning 1st and 2nd place, respectively, for research posters at the Northern California Botanists Symposium!
Congratulations to recent graduate, Sunshine Lopez (BS)!
Congratulations to Jorge Montiel for winning a California Native Plant Society Student Research Grant!
Join us at the Northern California Botanists Symposium in Chico in January 2019.
A perspective paper on how species adapt (and fail to adapt) has been accepted and is soon to be published as part of a special issue at the journal Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology.
Congratulations to Jackie Shay on advancing to candidacy in her PhD program!
We will be attending/presenting research at the Evolution Meetings in Montpellier. Hope to see you there.
We will be attending/presenting research at the Ecological Society Meeting in New Orleans. Hope to see you there.
Congratulations to Jorge Montiel on advancing to candidacy in his PhD program!
Join us at the AquAlliance Vernal Pools Conference in Chico in April 2018.
Congratulations to Lillie Pennington on receiving an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program!
A review of ours about how species come to expand their ability to use resources (i.e., niche breadth evolution) will be published in this year’s volume of Annual Reviews in Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics.
We will be attending/presenting research at the Evolution Meetings. Hope to see you there.
A paper first-authored by Megan Hirst that tests whether rare plant species can tolerate the same range of environments as widespread species has been published in the journal Ecology.
Brandon Hendrickson and Lillie Pennington will be joining our group as graduate students in Fall 2017. Welcome!
We received a Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) agreement grant with the Bureau of Reclamation and the USFWS entitled, “Genetic investigation of listed vernal pool plants and their communities in Merced County.”
Dannise Ruiz-Ramos has joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow through the UC Conservation Genomics Consortium and will be spearheading our CALeDNA project to study eDNA in vernal pool ecosystems and to sequence the Colusa grass genome, a rare grass found only in vernal pools.
Join us at the Northern California Botanists Symposium in Chico in January 2017.
Erin Dickman has graduated with her Master’s degree! Congratulations!
See a news story featuring Yazmin Lommel related to our collaboration with Yosemite National Park to better understand the giant sequoia seedling niche.
Some of us will be attending/presenting research at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Science Symposium. Hope to see you there.
We enjoyed a few weeks of writing and analysis fun with Visiting Scientist, Rachel Slatyer.
Join us at the Species in the Age of Discordance conference in Salt Lake City in March 2017.
Our lab is collaborating in the newly awarded UC Catalyst Grant to develop new strategies and solutions in conservation genomics. Read more.
We welcome Molly Stephens to the lab as a Project Scientist!