Research

As a scientist, I'm interested in ecology, the study of relationships between organisms. More specifically, I like examining novel interactions between organisms. These happen when a “new” organism moves into an area because of range shifts, host shifts, climate change, humans, or other factors. Traditional ecology has studied the relationships between co-evolved organisms – organisms that have been in contact with each other for a long period of time. Unfortunately, many things that we humans do interfere with those relationships, and so, organisms that never would've met before humans now have a chance.

The two major players of the novel plant-insect interactions that I studied during my doctoral dissertation are Alliaria petiolata and Pieris virginiensis, the West Virginia White Butterfly. A. petiolata is an Invasive Species that originally came to eastern North America from Europe (Nuzzo 1993). P. virginiensis, the West Virginia White butterfly, is a rare butterfly native to mature forests in eastern North America.

I am now investigating the responses of Pinus species to climate change, with an emphasis on trying to determine how much each species will migrate to a new, more suitable area, given Competition and Disturbance; and how much each species will simply adapt locally , given the unusually high genetic diversity that occurs within forests. This work is being conducted with Dr. Emily Moran's advice within a Postdoctoral Scholar position at University of California, Merced.

If you're interested in accessing the workhorse areas of this wiki, you can click for Papers and their summaries, or for People. These will bring you to author and publication pages, where I record citations and notes that I have.

Here's a list of my current publications.

Species synthesis pages

These are species that I've studied in more detail and hope to provide an overview of what I've learned about them. Please note that this is an active research blog, and as such, you may encounter “stubs” – pages with only a sentence or two. This is not a dictionary. This is a place where I store my notes as I gather them, and sometimes, those notes can be rather sparse.

Brassicaceae

Lepidoptera

Pinaceae