Research foci: How interactions among species (e.g. herbivory, competition) affect ecological communities; the population biology of rare native plants; how herbivores modify plant properties, (wood structure, water transport [with Pitterman]); and how climate change affects ecological systems, including changes in community composition and population projections for rare species.
Typical REU project: Climate change can selectively affect particular species. A student could test a hypothesis that abundance of specialist bumblebees has decreased as climate warmed in prairie communities across a gradient from the foggy coast to hot inland sites. An REU student would: use museum records in the database in the UCSC Natural History Museum to assess historical shifts (1989-1999); collect and identify summer pollinators; and compare the recent and earlier data.
Website: Fox Research Lab