Who's in the lab

Elizabeth M Wolkovich

Associate Professor of Forest & Conservation Sciences

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I am interested in how communities assemble and dis-assemble with global change. I draw on theory from temporal community ecology with perspectives from population and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, and climatology. 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 and the effects of climate change on the temporal assembly of plant communities. .

Deirdre Loughnan

Graduate Student

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I am interested in how communities are shaped by variation in abiotic and biotic environments and using functional traits to identify the drivers of species coexistence and performance. In completing my Master's degree at UBC, I used functional traits to study the biogeography of plant-insect herbivore interactions on Garry oak across its latitudinal range. Working in the interior forests of BC, my doctoral research will focus on the relationship between and relative importance of functional traits and plant phenology as drivers of plant performance under our changing climate.

Kristian Blackburn

Okanagan phenology sampling consultant

Kristian is a certified sommelier hailing from Toronto, Ontario. His passion for food and wine led him to visit Vancouver in 2016 where he discovered the wines of the Okanagan Valley. To further his craft, Kristian enrolled in the Viticulture program at Okanagan College to study wine “from the roots up.” Since then, he has been working in vineyards and wineries throughout the region.

Tolu Amuwo

Undergraduate researcher

I am an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia. I am personally interested in studying global changes in terrestrial ecosystems and what that means for biodiversity and conservation as climate change progresses. Through this opportunity, I aim to develop my understanding about the scientific process and how collaboration within the research field is implemented.

Sophia Collins

Undergraduate researcher

I am an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia. I am interested in the implications phenological shifts have for the futures of ecosystems, and what we can do to address the ramifications of climate change as a whole. Through my involvement with the Temporal Ecology Lab I am hoping to gain a better understanding of the scientific process and how computer software can be used to interpret data.

Alina Zeng

Undergraduate researcher

I am a senior undergraduate student majoring in Urban Forestry at the University of British Columbia. As a firm believer in the partnership between the sciences and the humanities, I appreciate innovative solutions to bridge research and practice. Upon joining the Temporal Ecology Lab, all the strolling around looking at plants that I do will serve a purpose (insert smiley face). I am grateful for a chance to learn and work in our lab to enhance my understanding of terrestrial ecosystems under a changing climate. Meanwhile, I aspire to prepare myself for conducting independent research in my future endeavours around ecology and conservation sciences.

Hoai Huong Nguyn Phan

Undergraduate researcher

I am an undergraduate student studying Electrical Engineering (Biomedical Option) at the University of British Columbia. The opportunity to join the Temporal Ecology Lab provides me with a better understanding of the path from data to science and decision-making in the real world. This experience also prepares me with transferable skills such as data analysis and communication that I can apply right away to my future pursuit in the biomedical field.

Grace Gooding

Undergraduate researcher

I am an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Sciences at the University of British Columbia. I am interested in the impacts of human disturbances in the environment, especially with respect to their impacts on biodiversity. Through my involvement in the lab, I hope to gain a better understanding of the research process, as well as improving my data processing skills in ecological research.

Dinara Mamatova

Undergraduate researcher

I am a senior undergraduate student at The University of British Columbia, majoring in Computer Science. I am interested in data visualization and analysis of the environmental and plant research data. Due to my time at the lab, I’ve had many great opportunities to learn about Bayesian statistics and survival models, work with the lab's phylogenetic mixed model and study the influence of the ever-changing climate on plant ecosystems and their life events.

Geoffrey Legault

Former Postdoctoral Fellow -- Current Collaborator 

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Geoff joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019. He is a theoretical ecologist interested in a variety of topics in population biology, community ecology, and physiology. During his Ph.D. (University of Colorado at Boulder) he studied the impacts of stochasticity on coexistence and spatio-temporal range dynamics. He then worked with Joel Kingsolver (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) developing mechanistic models of insect growth and development. You can read more about his research here: https://geoffreylegault.org/.

Faith Jones

Former Postdoctoral Fellow -- Current Collaborator 

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I am an ecologist fascinated questions around community structure, assembly and change across systems and scales. I find questions with practical application particularly interesting. During my PhD at the University of St Andrews I mainly studied global patterns of biodiversity change using the BioTIME database of assemblage timeseries. In addition, I assessed the potential usefulness of museum acquisitions for setting baseline data to monitor change in Trinidad and Tobago freshwater fish data. See my website https://faithamjones.weebly.com/ for more details.

Daniel Buonaiuto

Former Graduate Student -- Current Collaborator

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I am interested in how plant communities are responding to global change, and how these responses are affecting the composition and function of North American ecosystems. In the summer of 2016, I completed my master’s degree at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment where my thesis work examined the reproductive ecology of the woodland sedge, Carex pensylvanica, as applied to native plant production and ecology restoration.  My current research interest is in plant phenology, with a particular focus on expanding phenology research to include a greater diversity of plant taxa, and investigating how phenological characteristics covary with other life history traits.

Mira Garner

Former Graduate Student -- Current Collaborator

I am a master’s student interested in understanding how climate change is shaping plant communities and developing strategies for conservation and restoration. My master’s research seeked to understand how climate change is affecting wine grape phenology and consequently altering the suitability of specific varieties to their current growth regions. Prior to graduate school, I worked at the Morton Arboretum on projects that studied: the population genetics of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and big red sage (Salvia pentstemonoides), and the effect of phylogenetic diversity on prairie restorations.

Ailene Ettinger

Former Postdoctoral Fellow -- Current Collaborator

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As a plant ecologist and conservation biologist, I am fascinated with the vast diversity of plants on Earth and how they interact with their environment and other organisms. I am particularly interested in how climate change, urbanization, and other anthropogenic factors affect plant communities. Understanding anthropogenic impacts to plants is compelling to me for two main reasons: 1) humans exert a large and growing influence on Earth’s biota, and 2) we can simultaneously learn about their basic ecology and address applied problems in conservation biology and restoration.

Ignacio Morales-Castilla

Former Research Associate -- Current Collaborator

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Why biodiversity is distributed on Earth as it does? What is the signature of historical and evolutionary processes on current diversity patterns? Can we predict the future of biodiversity in a changing world? These are among the central questions in which my research program focuses. Specifically, it aims to: (1) disentangle the relative roles of evolution and ecology as drivers of community structure, (2) understanding how different aspects of the species' niches are evolutionarily conserved, (3) enhancing models of biotic interactions and/or species distributions by incorporating phylogenetic, functional and geographic information. 

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