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I work at the intersection of community and ecosystem ecology to understand how systems such as food webs and plant communities function. Though I tend to address fundamental questions with hypotheses informed by theory and models my research generally has strong applied angles. In particular much of my work to date has examined the causes and consequences of plant invasions.

Currently, I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UBC's Biodiversity Research Centre working to understand how phenology (seasonal timing of life history events) may shape plant communities and ecosystems. Together with a suite of collaborators I am also working on basic phenological questions such as how sensitivity to temperature, insolation and precipitation varies between species and across latitudes, and whether climate change experiments predict historical shifts in seasonal timing.



Thanks to Laura Aldrich-Wolfe and Steve Travers for hosting my visits to Concordia College and NDSU in November. I had a great time, but was sad to miss the snow by a day. In other snow-related news I am moving away from lovely Vancouver and the equally wonderful world of UBC in January for a new position at the Arnold Arboretum in snowy Boston. I will be keeping up some of my work on the Gulf Islands, however (incredibly gifted graduate students with experience on the islands, please drop me a line). I have been very lucky to have spent even just a little time here and send special thanks to all my amazing colleagues.

And on that note: my colleagues Tim Vines and the rest of the Repoducibility Group at UBC have a new paper about how rapidly data are lost over time in Current Biology with coverage in Nature and the Globe and Mail (no, I am totally not on this paper, Nature just recycled an old interview). Tim also has a new journal review system aimed at (in my mind) reducing reviewer fatigue, check out Axios.

Thanks to all who attended my talk at ClimTree 2013 in Zürich, and especially to Nicola Estrella, Yann Vitasse and Tom Wohlgemuth for inviting me. Switzerland for five days is actually worth the 36 or so hours of travel it takes to get there and back.

'It's not that R is being coy,' explains Jim Regetz in his great R Primer, which he finally shared with me. Then he never responded when I asked if I could post it and share it with the world, so here it is.

The Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) has launched their awesome new website! Beyond being gorgeous it does indeed have 'blazing-fast searches.' And to inaugurate it Nature has a new ditty out on data sharing, in which I take full credit for the use of the term 'arid shrubscape' to describe my PhD field system. Think 'moonscape' more than 'landscape,' please.

Two new papers out for the summer. Finally, I have pulled together data to look at the questions laid out in my NSF Bioinformatics grant (which ended 18 months ago). A great team of collaborators contributed to the resulting paper (here), which examines how phenology varies between native and exotic species across five sites (two continents and, more importantly, two habitat types). Also, Steph Pau along with another great team of collaborators combined over 20 years of satellite cloud data with ground observations of tropical phenology to understand how temperature, precipitation and clouds contribute to seasonal and long-term changes in tropical flower production (here).

I have an awesome new email address (see below). The old one redirects, but the new one sounds better. Thanks Alistair!

I'll be at the AGU Fall Meeting this December giving an invited talk covering some of my phenology work entitled, 'Progress and hurdles to forecasting phenology: How networked experiments and a species' traits framework can improve predictions with climate change.'Also, the meta-analysis of two major phenological databases is finally out at Ecosystems.

In the summer I worked up some of the results of comparing the flowering times and temperature sensitivity of native versus non-native species. I also finally made it out to Tofino.

Elsa Cleland and I, along with other working group members, have a new paper out in the journal Ecology. It uses plant performance data from our public STONE database to show how phenological sensitivity to temperature may predict performance responses to warming (for a quick synopsis, see write-up in Nature Climate Change).

Ben Cook and I, along with Camille Parmesan, have a new paper out in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looking at how wild plant species may be responding to warmer winters. Check out the paper here, and coverage by ScienceNews, ScienceDaily and EP.

New work that I led with the Forecasting Phenology working group came out in Nature. Read the article here, watch a video summary here and read some of the reporting from UCSD, NASA, Science Now, CTV, Sveriges Radio, Frankfurter Allgemeine and the BBC.

My paper with Jim Regetz and Mary O'Connor on how to accelerate global change research is now available at Global Change Biology (here). Also, I worked on two new phenology papers just out: one led by Joe Craine examines phenology as a functional trait at New Phytologist, and one from the Cleland lab led by Claire Wainwright at Journal of Applied Ecology examines some of the hypotheses from my Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment paper in the field using experimental abiotic forcings (links from here).

I had a great trip to Vienna in April to talk at the Seasons and Phenology session at the European Geophysical Union annual meeting. Many thanks to the session organizers for a great meeting. My talk and others in the New Developments in Phenology Symposium, also in Vienna, are available here.

I just moved to the Biodiversity Research Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia as of mid-January 2012. Please update to my new email address.

Thanks to those who came to the AGU session that Ben Cook and I organized, 'Beyond Earlier Spring: Diverse Phenological Responses to Climate Across Species and Ecosystems,' at the annual meeting in San Francisco this December. Special thanks to all those who presented, including Josep Penuelas and Eric Post for great invited talks.

My paper with Steph Pau and seven other Forecasting Phenology working group members, 'Predicting phenology: Integrating climatology and evolution to improve forecasting in ecology' is out at Global Change Biology (here).

My paper on the theory behind how phenology may be important in plant invasions came out in the June 2011 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and was recommended by the Faculty of 1000. My opinion paper with Erin Wilson, 'Scavenging: How carnivores and carrion structure communities' is out in March issue at Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

I moved from NCEAS to UC-San Diego in late July 2010. I'll keep an eye on my old NCEAS email for a while longer but please update your address books.


Just to review: Your options are to visit Data or Publications or Research which includes my work on Phenology, Detritus and other projects, Teaching, including an overview of my experience and my current undergrad’s blog on our bioinformatics work, my Resources page with my links to favorite LaTex, Sweave and R help sites, a Grants list and Writing, and the almighty leftover stuff at Other. You can download my CV here.