Welcome! I am a broadly trained and certified Senior Ecologist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Biological and Health Sciences, the Institute for Sustainable Energy & the Environment, Texas A&M University-Kingsville. I am a Visiting Professor in the Northwest A&F University and the Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. I am also the curator of vascular plants for the Texas A&M-Kingsville Herbarium (TAIC).
My research focuses on plant ecology, disturbance ecology, restoration ecology, biogeography, landscape modeling, and climate change biology. By using both theoretical and applied approaches, I address basic questions about mechanisms and patterns of community development and stability, and to understand ecological change in response to human activity and natural disturbance at a wide range of scales. I am interested in plant population and forest community dynamics, mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance, and geographical variation in species and communities. My work focuses on how natural and human-caused disturbances and environmental factors coupled with climate change influence these patterns at various spatial (local to national) and temporal (annual to a thousand years) scales. More specifically, by examining responses of populations to disturbance within a community and across landscapes, I seek to understand the importance of disturbance-maintained species coexistence. To address these issues, I use long-term field survey data and modeled data within a quantitative, analytical modeling framework.
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Other topics I am interested in include the geographical variation of species and communities, forest gap dynamics, applications of Geographical Information System (GIS) in ecology and databases for species and vegetation plots. I have strong interests to apply ecological theories and methods to practical questions such as environmental and resource management and sustainable development of the biosphere and human society at scales that range from population to community to region. I am eager to work on such related fields as policy and management of ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation. I have strong motivations to extend my skills and expertise to other disciplines and work in the community to increase the public understanding of science, especially in biodiversity conservation and public environmental education.
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