Plant Responses to a Warming Climate

Climate Science, Ecology, Physiology, Plant Biology

Understanding vegetation feedback mechanisms under a changing environment is crucial for the prediction of carbon and water fluxes in models, where the predictions are later used for conservation and climate-related policies. Hence, making accurate predictions is critical as many environments are forecast to experience more prolonged, drier and warmer conditions, while others will be subjected to an increase in the frequency and intensity of episodic heatwaves. Our lab is currently focused on understanding how plant processes are affected by heat and drought. More specifically, we are interested in 1) investigating the competitive physiological advantages of an invasive tree species (Russian olive) under these stressors; and in 2) determining plant functional traits that enable the survival of co-occurring plant species across an elevation gradient. Students will learn how to conduct field and lab work, develop critical-thinking, perform statistical data analysis, learn scientific writing, and, if interested, present a research poster at a local conference and be invited to co-author publication(s).

Stream Leaders

Luiza Aparecido, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences
Bianca Zorger, PhD
Rebecca Senft
Graduate Student, School of Biological Sciences