I am a botanist and plant ecologist and I research how plants and plant communities respond to climate change. I have a special interest in Arctic plant ecology and phenology (the timing of natures seasonal events such as the timing of flowering). My postdoctoral research at UBC focuses on the relationships between Arctic plant phenology, reproductive success, and plant community structure. I conduct field work at Greg Henry’s long-term plant ecology field site at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. I am also investigating the evolutionary and life history trait patterns in Arctic plant phenological responses to climate change using long-term Arctic plant phenology monitoring data from the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX).
My doctoral research studied the impact of climate change on the flowering and fruiting times of Arctic plants in Nunavut. I used herbarium specimens, long-term phenology monitoring and an elevational gradient (as a proxy for climate change) to predict reproductive phenological responses to climate change. During my Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University I utilised pollen count records from allergen monitoring stations to study how pollen release timing and quantity of pollen in wind-pollinated species alters with climate and the consequences for reproductive success. In addition, I investigated the implications of spatial, temporal and collector biases in Arctic natural history collections for phenology studies employing herbarium specimens.
I have a PhD in Biology from Carleton University and an MSc in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware. My undergraduate degree was in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Loughborough University. I was a software engineer designing telecommunication networks before switching careers to pursue my passion for plants. My current research is funded by a W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellowship in Northern Research.
Field blog: http://arcticplantphenology.blogspot.ca/
In 2019 I was awarded the NSERC and L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Supplement.