Center for conservation biology staff electricity of the heart


My interests focus on the regulation of community and ecosystem processes by soil organisms with special emphasis on mycorrhizal fungi. My current research concentrates on global change dynamics and structure of undisturbed areas, and how that information can be utilized in the conservation and restoration of native ecosystems.

I am currently an Assistant Research Ecologist coordinating the Center for Conservation Biology’s Desert Studies Initiative.The focus of the Desert Studies Initiative has been to develop risk assessments for desert flora, fauna and natural communities relevant to the implementation of regional conservation programs. Specific research has examined the influence of suburban-natural area interfaces, minimum habitat sizes for population persistence along precipitation gradients, the influence of exotic species on natural community composition, drivers of population dynamics, and modeling current and historic species distributions to objectively measure habitat loss. We are also exploring programs to enhance the secondary level science education in surrounding schools.

Our research focuses on the coupling between biodiversity, energy fluxes, and biogeochemical cycling embedded within ecological landscapes. We conduct research across wildland, agricultural, and urban land uses. Linking processes across scales is central to our work — landscape dynamics occur at scales of microbes, to hundreds of kilometers, to the entire world. Everyone in the lab endeavors to both generate new understanding of how the world works and forecast the effects global change drivers on sustainability trade-offs. Current activities are answering questions such as: What regulates biodiversity and ecosystem functioning within cities? What limits rates of nitrogen cycling and nitrogen trace gas emissions in high temperature regions? What are landscape feedbacks to coupled carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles following grass invasions in arid ecosystems?

I am currently a field biologist working out of the UC Riverside Palm Desert Campus. My work includes monitoring the flora and fauna of the Cochella Valley’s Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, Joshua Tree National Park’s long term climate change study and working in disaster relief as a Resource Advisor. My specialty is desert flora and I look for any excuse to botanize. My current goals include balancing studying how climate change is affecting the boundary between the Colorado and Mojave Deserts with being a good father and husband.

I work with geographic information and provide geospatial analysis services in support of our research efforts. This is usually presented as various digital data products and visual media illustrating research findings. I also provide assistance and training to researchers in GIS software and methods. Much of my work pertains to the compilation of contemporary and past environmental information into a format appropriate for modeling habitat suitability. One of my interests is developing conversion methods from historic data formats to digital geospatial datasets.

Currently, my lab is involved in studies investigating 1) The use of whole insect communities to assess community recovery following fire or restoration, 2) The impact of land management practices on insect community structure and 3) The importance of insect community structure and biomass distribution in determining the habitat quality of endangered species of vertebrate insectivores.

My interests are biogeography, conservation biology, wildlife management. Some of my recent projects are wildlife conservation in fragmented and altered landscapes, including studies of wildlife movement, habitat use, and population biology in oak woodland, sage scrub, and riparian habitats; behavioral changes and adjustments in habitat use of woodland bird species in response to human activities; the conservation and management of island bird species through captive propagation, predator control, and habitat restoration.

Lynn is an Associate Specialist at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Center. She is a plant ecologist whose research focuses on the establishment of plants in heterogeneous landscapes, primarily the establishment of invasive plants into new landscapes. She was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCR she is continuing her work looking at native and invasive plant species distributions in the Coachella Valley and beyond. Her work is now across several disciplines; she has focused not only on plant ecology but also biogeography and invasion biology in order to answer questions about why plants occur where they do, and where they may occur with future climate change.

My work with CCB involves developing environmental sensors, supporting the deployment of sensors and maintaining computers and servers associated with past and current installations. I previously served as the Senior Development Engineer and Project Manager for the development of the Automated MiniRhizotron while part of the UC-based Center for Embedded Networked Sensing as well as the Acting Assistant Director for the UCNRS James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve. My research is focused on below ground ecosystem imaging and automated analysis.

With 20+ years’ experience in administration, I joined UCR working in Environmental Health & Safety for five years, ending June 2012. As of 2013, I am excited to be part of Center for Conservation Biology in helping to manage the ‘back office’ so that research can continue seamlessly. To that end, given CCB’s focus in biodiversity, "the more we can work together and reduce duplication, the better", let me know if I or CCB can help you.