Meagan F. Oldfather
meagan_oldfather at berkeley.edu
My research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary drivers of plant range limits. There is strong theoretical background for what dynamically shapes species distributions, but these theories are challenging to test in natural systems. With a changing climate, species are predicted to exhibit range shifts, but without understanding the mechanisms shaping a species’ current range it is difficult to predict the rate and magnitude of these shifts. I study how spatial variation in population-level responses to climate can be incorporated into models to better predict range shifts. I work in the White Mountains, CA on a long-lived alpine plant (Ivesia lycopodioides var. scandularis). The core question of my dissertation is: What is the relative impact of warmer and drier conditions on populations at the center of a species range versus populations at the range edge?
In addition to my dissertation research I also work on woody vegetation monitoring plots in Northern California oak woodlands as part of the Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Collaborative.
This upcoming Fall 2016 I will be on a graduate student research position with the Institute for the Study of Ecological & Evolutionary Climate Impacts.