As a researcher, I am most interested in big picture questions. How does high atmospheric CO2 affect our planet? How have different plants evolved? How can we make better decisions about how to conserve the natural world around us?
My research centres on the interface between plant ecology and sedimentary geology, with my interest centring on the question of what human-induced climate change means for us and our shared planet.
Most recently this has included work on: 1) plant community assemblage; 2) plant functional traits and how environment influences their distribution; 3) combining local ecology stories–from the fossil record–with global evolutionary patterns; 4) sedimentary geology and structural mapping for basin reconstruction.
Since 2015, I have fronted a methodological ecology project exploring the efficacy of Species Accumulation curves as a method of estimating biodiversity for conservation purposes. The project has focused on the outcomes of this method in a hyper-diverse tropical system (primary forest lowlands of Sarawak, Borneo) as compared to it’s use in relatively low-diversity temperate Australian settings. We developed simple-to-use species accumulation software (to be provided open access), as well as the generation and sampling of computer-simulated ‘ecosystems’.
Looking to future research themes, I am most interested in: 1) utilising combinations of geological and modern data to generate novel insights into the ecological impacts of anthropogenic climate change; 2) investigating how changes in plant community composition alter the carbon balance of ecosystems and environments.