Principal Investigator

Carla Staver, Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

[CV] [contact]

Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows

Allison Karp is a molecular paleoecologist and interested in how ecological disturbances (i.e., fire and herbivory) interact with climate and vegetation on geologic timescales. She received her Ph.D. in Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, where she studied the role of fire feedbacks in promoting the Neogene expansion of C4 grasslands. At Yale, she will be combining theorical modeling and Quaternary paleoecological reconstructions to examine how fire and herbivory differentiate between alternative stable states. [contact] [website]

Mohammed Armani is a plant ecologist interested in how plants adapt to disturbance (i.e., fire, herbivory, and drought) across tropical biomes. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Ecology from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), where he evaluated growth-defence syndromes across plants with no spines vs. spines, thorns, or prickles. At Yale, he will be studying vegetation trajectories across the forest – savanna boundary of western Africa under recent climate and land use change. [contact]
Juliana Teixeira is a vegetation scientist interested in how fire determines ecosystem structure and function. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology at the Universidade Estadual Paulista, where she studied shifts in vegetation structure and associated plant functional traits that alter carbon dynamics in tropical grasslands and savannas under fire and biological invasion. At Yale, she will examine whole-ecosystem carbon and biodiversity in Brazilian savannas at risk of afforestation. [contact]
Nick O’Mara (co-advised with Jenn Marlon, Yale School of the Environment) is an organic and isotope geochemist interested in how shifts in climate affect paleo-biogeography, ecosystem transitions, and fire dynamics. Nick received his PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University, where his research focused on understanding the drivers of rainfall and ecological variability in Northwest Africa on time scales of hundreds to millions of years. At Yale, he is working on generating new paleo-records from marine sediment cores to explore spatiotemporal trends in African wildfires since the last glacial maximum 21 thousand years ago.  [contact]
Graduate Students
Arielle Biro is is broadly interested in plant-soil feedbacks, with particular interest in understanding how plants and microbes interact with their soil and nutrient environments to shape plant growth, plant abundance, and ecosystem function. Arielle has utilized both field and lab-based methods to study plant-soil interactions and nitrogen fixation in African savannas during her Ph.D. research. Before coming to Yale, she received her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Binghamton University, where she worked on legume-rhizobia symbioses.  [contact]
Riley Wadehra is interested in understanding how fire behavior changes across different vegetation structures and environmental conditions. She hopes to explore the relationship between fire behavior, weather variability, and grass biomass using both empirical and theoretical tools. She mainly focuses on savanna systems, although her work varies in scale from the plot level to global analyses. She received her B.A. in Environmental Science from Colorado College, where she worked to understand spatial patterning on the alpine treeline transition zone. [contact]
Emmanuel Oduro Takyi is interested in using a combination of mathematical and empirical work to understand how forests and savannas respond to fire disturbances, particularly how functional traits vary across the vegetation. He received his B.S in Biological Sciences from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where he worked on effect of invasive plant species on liana communities. [contact]
Kerry Grey  (Oxford University, co-advised with Yadvinder Malhi and Nicola Stevens) is interested in the impact of global change on vegetation and carbon cycling. Her DPhil will focus on how compound climatic extremes may impact semi-arid sub-tropical savanna trees in the southern Kalahari of South Africa. Kerry received her B.Sc(Hons) in Biodiversity and Ecology at Stellenbosch University and her M.Sc in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town, where she investigated the impact of changing temperatures and precipitation on the physiology of the vulnerable quiver tree (Aloidendron dichotomum). 
Past Lab Grad Students and Postdocs
2014-2017, postdoc. Julie Aleman. Research Scientist, CNRS, CEREGE. 
2014-2020, PhD. Maddy Case. Supervisory Research Ecologist, USGS.
2017-2019, postdoc. Josh Daskin. Head of Conservation, Archbold Biological Station.
2017-2019, postdoc. Maggie Simon. Postdoc, University of Florida.
2018-2022, postdoc. Yong Zhou. Assistant Professor, Utah State University.
2019-2021, postdoc. Anabelle Cardoso. Postdoc, University of Buffalo.
2019-2021, postdoc. Chao Wu. Postdoc, University of Utah.