Dept. Earth System Science and Policy
University of North Dakota
Office: Clifford Hall room 314
Address: 4149 University Avenue Stop 9011
My training as a molecular biologist strongly influences my macroecological approaches to forest and human ecology. Extraordinarily dynamic processes appear to have very basic underlying rules that govern the behavior of individual factors within the systems. Examples include the interaction of individual plants as they compete for light and space, the arc of human civilization and history, and the control of gene expression. In my research I look for simple relationships that result in bottom-up emergent behaviors, and the factors that impact the long-term stability of these systems.
Individual-Based Forest Simulations and Biomechanical Corridors of Existence
I develop and make use of computer models to better understand the allometric allocation of mass in plants, and how the competition between individual trees results in the forest-level scaling patterns seen world-wide. Models range from individual tree growth models that use biomechanical stability to understand tree architecture, to predictive forest models looking at long term responses in forests. A focus of my recent work is to examine whether individual tree temperature influences the diversity of trees in forests.
The systems that humans design and build are governed by the same structural limitations that underpin other systems. My interest is in examining patterns in human societies--particularly those related to empire size--and looking for underlying rules that govern them.
- PhD. Botany, 2011. Cornell University
- M.S. Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, 2005. Cornell University
- M.S. Applied Molecular Biology, 1999. University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- B.S. Biotechnology, 1996. Rochester Insititute of Technology.