I undertake my research with the goal of understanding plants from the level of forces acting on an individual plant to the species level, and those acting on a plant community as a whole. These concepts are most interesting when considered through a longer expanse of time and in the context of evolution.
My general research interests involve understanding how plants are adapted for their environments. I also investigate how plant traits evolve or change through time to allow a plant to become adapted for that new environment. In particular, I am interested in understanding how these adaptions occur and how they respond to environmental change.
As a plant biologist, I love the complexity of plant communities and the intricacy of plant form, and have pursued these interests through many different avenues. I have led or been involved in research of plant fossils, native plant communities throughout Canada and the USA, leaf anatomical structures, novel forms of photosynthesis, and plant response to salinity and drought. Currently, I am involved in studying local adaptations observed in different populations of poplar trees, and using this information to select environmentally-appropriate genotypes for tree cultivation in biofuels.