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Phenological sequences of deciduous woody plants

For many tree species in the forests of Eastern North America (and other temperate regions of the globe), it is not the green tips of new shoots that mark the commencement of the growing season, but the subtle colors of flowers.
Why do some species flower before leaf emergence?
I explore the evolutionary drivers, physiological mechanisms and climate change implications of this unique phenological syndrome.

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Germination niches of woodland perennials

The germination requirements of seed plants are a strong determinant of species' ecological niches, range size and demography. Germination responses differ among species and may have an important role in determining the outcomes of species interactions.
Using growth chambers to simulate climate change I work to both characterize the gemination niches of herbaceous perennial plants and to predict how these differences will affect inter-specific competition with climate change.

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Wind-pollination in the Anthropocene

Often left out from the scientific conversations about global change and pollination are the estimated 10%-20% of terrestrial plants that are pollinated by the wind. However, the continued reproductive success of wind-pollinated species in an era of global change should not be taken for granted.
There are some specific ecological requirements for successful wind-pollination (canopy structure, conspecific density, and atmospheric conditions) that are shifting with global change, but the impact of these effects on pollination and reproductive success of wind-pollinated species remains largely unexplored.
This is an exciting new line of inquiry for me that I am hoping to pursue in the future.