The University of Nevada, Reno Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is federally funded at $231,000.00 annually
Major: Conservation Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher J. Lortie
Research Topic: "Using Spatial Pattern Analyses to Test for Shrub-Shrub Interactions within Atriplex Confertifolia"
Abstract: Atriplex confertifolia or shadscale is an important shrub in salt desert areas of the Great Basin. There is recent evidence of extensive die-off, and many possible causes have been investigated. Previous research has not investigated whether there are shrub-shrub interactions that are further modifying its abundance and limiting its recruitment. By studying shadscale's spatial relationships using size specific analyses, we will be able to infer if these relationships are influencing its life cycle.
Both grid and transect measurements were taken in four study sites: two in unburnt areas and two in burnt areas. All size classes of shrubs were significantly clumped under both fire histories. Hence, there is no evidence of negative shrub-shrub interactions detected using spatial analyses tested at multiple scales. Interestingly, the strong spatial aggregation of shadscale detected at all scales suggests positive interactions may be occurring and this may be particularly important in burnt areas.
Graduated With Baccalaureate Degree: Spring 2006
Masters or Doctoral Program Update: Earned a Master's Degree in Research Applied Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno in summer 2008. Working as a University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension Educator for Northeast Clark County.