Current Projects

Overview of Ph.D. Research

My research is funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP; awarded in 2021) and aims to understand patterns of plant biodiversity with a focus on the Neotropical region.

I seek to answer the following questions:

  • Can plant trait data improve our ability to estimate extinction risk for data-deficient plants?

  • How do relationship(s) between plant and frugivore traits and diversity measures (taxonomic and functional diversity) in the Neotropics vary with spatial scale?

  • What are future patterns of neotropical plant diversity forecasted to look like under climate change scenarios?

Plant Traits & Extinction Risk

I will be using existing plant trait databases (like BIEN, TRY, and others) to compile relevant trait data for plant species in Central and South America, with a particular focus on species classified as data deficient on the IUCN RedList.

Plant and Frugivore Diversity

I will be calculating the taxonomic and functional diversity of plants and frugivores in the Neotropics at various spatial grains and latitudes.

Climate Change & Future Plant Biodiversity

I will be looking at if project plant and frugivore species ranges will match in the future for any of the forecasted representative concentration pathways (RCPs).