Developing Metrics to Evaluate the Skill and Credibility of Downscaling

Within the climate science community, a variety of techniques are used to "downscale" information from global climate models and produce fine-scale projections of future climate, but the relative strengths and weaknesses of these techniques are not well-understood. In this project, we are comparing downscaling techniques and establishing best practices.

Dja Reserve

For the past 20 years, we have been conducting research in the Dja Biosphere Reserve and adjacent areas.  The Dja Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in South Central Cameroon. The reserve comprises over 500,000 hectares, making it one of Central Africa’s largest protected areas. Our research began in 1993 with the...

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

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.