My research interests lie within applied ecology and ecological restoration. During my time on the Colorado Plateau I have witnessed the full range of ecosystem health and the idea of returning functionality to some of our most degraded landscapes excites me. Restoration ecology is the confluence of many disciplines including engineering, societal and economic implications, and ecological questions. I enjoy being a generalist who considers many fields of thought and develops a workable solution from them.
As a Ph.D student in the Bowker and Fule lab, We are developing a new technique to minimize some of the most devastating impacts of high severity wildfire. We will be developing a novel Burned Area Emergency Response technique using the "fire mosses" Ceratodon purpureus, Funaria hygrometrica, and Bryum argenteum. These species naturally colonize severely burned areas quickly and by giving them extra help we hope to reduce post fire soil erosion which has historically proven extremely difficult. Some other potential benefits of restoration with fire mosses are:
|Ceratodon purpureus on the Slide Fire|
- They could be delivered aerially much like seeds are today
- They could facilitate native plant growth
- Their short residence time on the landscape could allow local species to colonize more readily
- They could be used as a vehicle to return beneficial soil microbes to burned areas