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Postdoctoral Fellowships

The La Kretz Center postdoctoral fellowship program supports scholars who conduct innovative research that interfaces with the conservation and management agencies that direct and lead California conservation. Our emphasis is on biological conservation, and our postdocs work in any discipline that provides the scientific research critical to the preservation, protection, management, or restoration of at-risk species, environments, or ecological communities in California.

PROJECTS

eco-evolutionary consequences of global change on invasive plant species

Eco-Evolutionary Consequences of Global Change on Invasive Plant Species

Human activities are dramatically impacting ecosystems worldwide due to air pollution – and resulting changes to climate and nitrogen cycling – and the spread of nonnative plant species. These drivers of global change may have strong and interactive ecological effects, but the evolutionary impacts of these factors are poorly understood. La Kretz postdoc Justin Valliere is currently exploring potential adaptation to nitrogen pollution and climate in common invasive plant species of California. This study will have important implications for invasive plant management under predicted global change.

ecological impacts of nitrogen deposition on coastal sage scrub of the santa monica mountains

Ecological Impacts of Nitrogen Deposition on Coastal Sage Scrub of the Santa Monica Mountains

California’s native ecosystems are increasingly impacted by nitrogen deposition resulting from air pollution, particularly in the greater Los Angeles area. This project, led by La Kretz postdoc Justin Valliere, extends an ongoing collaboration between the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the UCLA, with the goal of understanding the ecological impacts of nitrogen pollution on the severely threatened coastal sage scrub plant community of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Publications

Invasive annuals respond more negatively to drought than native species

Justin M. Valliere, Evelin B. Escobedo, Gary M. Bucciarelli, M. Rasoul Sharifi and Philip W. Rundel

Published Work | 2019 | New Phytologist

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High N, dry: Experimental nitrogen deposition exacerbates native shrub loss and nonnative plant invasion during extreme drought

Justin M. Valliere, Irina C. Irvine, Louis Santiago, Edith B. Allen

Published Work | 2017 | Global Change Biology

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