Using evolutionary and spatial ecology to improve management and restoration
The success of management and restoration efforts that improve ecosystem quality often fail because of a lack of an understanding of the underlying factors of species distributions. The application of basic knowledge of evolutionary ecology to environmental problems can improve the management and restoration of both native and invasive plants.
My work has shown that local evolutionary and ecological processes can influence the management and conservation of species at the macroscale. For example, evolution and hybridization increased the regional invasiveness of hybrid watermilfoils and requires lake managers to modify herbicide control to prevent the spread of an invasive plant. Meanwhile, I am currently using spatial analyses to help the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to understand regional efficacy patterns of invasive plant control.