Research in the lab focuses on how temporal and spatial shifts associated with climate change alter species interactions. In particular, we are interested in how shifts in flowering time affect plant-pollinator interactions. Many plants are flowering earlier as a result of climate change, and there is concern that these phenological shifts will lead to temporal mismatches between plants and pollinators. Similarly, some bumble bee pollinators are moving up in elevation, potentially altering interactions. The net results are likely to be novel communities in both the spatial and temporal dimensions, modified interaction strengths, and altered selection on life history events.
We use a combination of long-term and historical data, experimental manipulations, and observations of natural variation in phenology to understand how plant-pollinator interactions are likely to be affected by climate change.
Primary field sites have been Curtis Prairie in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, Mt Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, and subalpine meadows around the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Colorado.
Curtis Prairie, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
Mt Lemmon, Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tucson, Arizona
Subalpine meadow, Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, Colorado