Spring 2018 and 2019-20 Global Change Fellow
Statement of purpose:
Two of the most destructive forces currently threatening biodiversity in the context of global change are urbanization and invasive species. I use genetic and geospatial tools to understand the interplay between the two with the intention of mitigating their effects on human communities and ecosystems. I am also interested in the ecology of invaders and what their ecology and evolution can teach us about the conservation of native species. I am most productive when I can work on multidisciplinary projects, and I believe that the most effective adaptive strategies for climate and land use change management will arise from such collaborations.
Description of research:
I study how the invasive mosquito species Aedes albopictus moves across urbanizing landscapes and the role humans play in their dispersal. I use a combination of genetic and geospatial analyses to test hypotheses about how this vector spreads across counties in the southeastern United States. I aim to create a dispersal model that can predict how gene flow and genetic connectivity will change under different land-use change scenarios. My research falls primarily under SE Climate Adaptation Science Center’s Research Priority 1: Exposure, by advancing our understand of regional land use change-related stressors (invasive species) and Research Priority 2: Impacts, by improving partner understanding of how invasive species are affected by land use changes. My research aligns with the Secretary of the Interior Priorities 1a & b, as I intend to apply my results towards managing invasive species that pose public health risks in urban and urbanizing areas.