I am an Assistant Professor of Watershed Science in the School of Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University. With a diverse range of interests and experience, my research and teaching is centered on the physical processes and behavior of rivers, and the interactions between physical and ecological systems. In particular, my work focuses on understanding the effects of and responses to spatiotemporal heterogeneity and disturbances within watersheds.
Previously, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and then Research Scientist in the Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University, where I established projects on the myriad impacts after wildfire, including erosion and sedimentation, water resource impacts, and aquatic ecosystem resiliency. Working toward the goal of better quantifying these environmental risks, I continue to lead an NSF-funded project at Utah State, along with Drs. Patrick Belmont and Jon Czuba and a team of postdocs and graduate students. As part of this effort, we are developing an open-source modeling framework capable of characterizing watershed-scale post-wildfire sediment dynamics and estimating the vulnerability of water reservoirs to sedimentation after wildfire. I also continue to collaborate with fire ecologist Dr. Larissa Yocom at Utah State. Together, we have published about narrow historical wildfire perspectives in the western US and how this contributes to underestimations of water resource risks (see our Earth’s Future paper). Additionally, we are now working on a JFSP-funded project developing tools and resources for better-targeted fuels management to mitigate post-fire erosion and downstream impacts.
To learn more about my ongoing wildfire-related work, check out the following links to interviews, news media coverage and science podcasts:
Finally, my dissertation research, conducted at The University of Texas at Austin, investigated the role of spatially variable rainfall patterns in bedrock river erosion. Specifically, I examined how climate-dependent chemical weathering processes influence the patterns and evolution of erosion in bedrock channel beds. This research was published in the journals Nature and Geology.
Research Interests: fluvial geomorphology, watershed-scale sediment dynamics, post-wildfire environments, water security, climatic controls on landscape evolution, bedrock river erosion, weathering processes, landscape and population ecology, and resource management
Active Collaborations: Patrick Belmont (USU), Jon Czuba (Virginia Tech), Larissa Yocom (USU), Phaedra Budy (USGS/USU), Tim Walsworth (USU)