My research examines 1) species invasions and 2) the response of species to climate change, with a particular emphasis on understanding and preventing species extinctions. My research on species invasions spans from local-scale studies on exotic species impacts to broad patterns of invasions across entire continents and on islands worldwide. My climate change research focuses on how species will shift their geographic distributions with changing conditions. I am also evaluating 'adaptation' strategies to climate change that can help prevent extinctions, such as the strategy of managed relocation (aka assisted colonization).
My interest in species invasions was sparked as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where I investigated the impacts of a non-native tree, Eucalyptus globulus, on native biodiversity. As a Ph.D. student with Jim Brown at the University of New Mexico, I examined the impacts of species invasions on plant diversity at local and global scales. As a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara, I explored how biodiversity has changed on oceanic islands around the world as a consequence of species invasions. I also helped to co-found the International Biogeography Society and edited two books, one on biogeography and the other on invasions. At Brown I am excited to continue my work on species invasions. I have also begun an investigation of the usefulness of several newly proposed conservation strategies that aim to reduce the number of species extinctions caused by global warming and rapid climate change.
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Sax Lab Website
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