The broad goals of my research are to understand the interactions among climate, grazing, and the structure and function of grassland and alpine ecosystems and how human activities and global changes are altering these systems. I address these issues using a suite of study approaches, from experimental manipulations to ecosystem modeling. My work considers multiple scales, from species-level investigations to landscape-scale processes. Moreover, I work across disciplines to understand the complex dynamics of the coupled human-environment system in grassland and alpine regions of the world.
Climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, with the greatest effects on subsistence-oriented societies. On the Tibetan Plateau, extreme spring snowstorms are reportedly becoming more frequent and severe. The overall goal of this project is to investigate the social and ecological implications of both the snowstorms and the state restocking programs, and more broadly, pastoralists' changing vulnerability to climate change.