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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

luke browne

Valley Oak Conservation in a Changing Climate

Rapidly changing climate in California and around the world has the potential to cause a mismatch between the environmental conditions that plants are adapted to and the environmental conditions they will face in the future, which threatens the viability of many plant populations. Working with the California endemic species Valley oak (Quercus lobata), La Kretz...

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

Adaptational lag to temperature in valley oak (Quercus lobata) can be mitigated by genome-informed assisted gene flow

Luke Browne, Jessica W. Wright, Sorel Fitz-Gibbon,Paul F. Gugger, and Victoria L. Sork

Published Work | 2019 | PNAS December 10, 2019 116 (50) 25179-25185


Survival and competing mortality risks of mountain lions in a major metropolitan area

J. Benson, J. Sikich, S. Riley

Published Work | 2019 | Biological Conservation


Conserving ecological roles of top predators in isolated mountains

Benson, J. F., P. J. Mahoney, T. W. Vickers, J. A. Sikich, P. Beier, S. P. D. Riley, H. B. Ernest, and W. M. Boyce

Published Work | 2019 | Ecological Applications 00(00):e02029


Plant functional traits predict the drought response of native California plant species

Pezner, AK, Pivovaroff AL, Sun W, Sharifi MR, Rundel PW, Seibt U.

Published Work | 2019 | International Journal of Plant Science


The Effect of Ecophysiological Traits on Live Fuel Moisture Content

Alexandria L. Pivovaroff, Nathan Emery, M. Rasoul Sharifi, Marti Witter, Jon E. Keeley and Philip W. Rundel

Published Work | 2019 | Fire 2019, 2(2), 28


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


Repeated mowing to restore remnant native grasslands invaded by nonnative annual grasses: upsides and downsides above and below ground

Justin M. Valliere, Susan Balch, Carole Bell, Carlos Contreras, Bridget E. Hilbig

Published Work | 2018 | Restoration Ecology


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


Testing the ‘microbubble effect’ using the Cavitron technique to measure xylem water extraction curves

Pivovaroff AL, Burlett R, Lavigne B, Cochard H, Santiago LS, Delzon S.

Published Work | 2016 | AoB PLANTS 8: plw011


Interactions between demography, genetics, and landscape connectivity increase extinction probability for a small population of large carnivores in a major metropolitan area

JF Benson, PJ Mahoney, JA Sikich, LEK Serieys, JP Pollinge , HB Ernest, SPD Riley

Published Work | 2016 | Proc. R. Soc. B 283 : 20160957



A test of fundamental questions in mimicry theory using long-term datasets

EC Long, KF Edwards, AM Shapiro

Published Work | 2015 | Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 116(3)