About me

I am a Gund Postdoctoral Fellow a at the University of Vermont, where I work with Rachelle Gould and Brian Beckage and an Applied Climate Science Fellow at The Nature Conservancy Colorado.

I investigate relationships among birds, people, trees, cities, and climate, and seek to understand how to reorient these relationships towards sustainable pathways. I believe that integrating tools, methods, and approaches from many different disciplines is essential to understanding these relationships; I draw on a range of methods from ecology, sociology, psychology, remote sensing, anthropology, system dynamics, artificial intelligence, climate science, and others.

I bring my joy for birding, painting, Bayesian inference, and outdoor adventure into my research as much as possible, though I have yet to figure out a way of incorporating my enthusiasm for sourdough baking.

In Summer 2021 I completed my PhD at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Kai Chan. Before coming to UBC, I received a BA from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy.


Does thinking through relationships help us build solutions towards sustainability? We use worked examples from psychology to ecology to show that the answer is yes. Free paper. Twitter thread summary.

Why do people do what they do? Our recent paper synthesizes human action theories from across disciplines. Free paper. Twitter thread summary.

How can cities stave off heat waves? Brian Beckage and I used Bayesian models and Landsat data to show that coniferous trees may be key for ameliorating heat waves in the Pacific Northwest. Free paper. Twitter thread. What causes this enhanced cooling by conifers? We developed system dynamics models of physical climate to show that three key tree traits seem to drive conifer cooling. Free paper. Twitter thread summary.

Can relational values help explain people’s conservation motivations? Our recent paper using relational values as a framework to show how genetic information and interdependent relationships with nature can motivate the conservation of widespread species. Free paper. Twitter thread.

Do woody perennial polycultures boost bird diversity? Using Bayesian multispecies abundance models in Stan and metacommunity theory, we suggest that they do. Free paper. Twitter Summary. And also biodiversity and ecosystem services more generally. Free paper. Twitter thread.

Based on research with Dr. Mary Caswell Stoddard, we showed that birds can discriminate mixtures of colors that we can only imagine. Free PNAS paper. Twitter thread summary.