Erin J Questad

Erin J Questad

Professor, Biological Sciences, College of Science

Research Interests

We test ecological questions related to the conservation and restoration of endangered plant communities. We employ tools such as ecological field experiments, measures of plant functional traits, geographic data collected by land managers, and remote sensing to ask questions from the leaf to landscape scales. Active areas of research include community assembly of restored plant communities, biodiversity-ecosystem function in heterogeneous agroecological landscapes, and remote sensing and practical tools for post-fire restoration.

Restoration of invaded ecosystems

We study the restoration of invaded ecosystems using a community assembly framework. Members of our lab are pursuing related studies in Hawaiian drylands and California grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands.

Feedbacks between restoration and agricultural management

We are studying the potential for both large and small-scale restoration to deliver ecosystem services in a complex citrus-avocado agroecosystem in the Santa Clara River Valley in Ventura County, California. We are also broadly examining how biodiversity is structured throughout this heterogeneous landscape. This project is a collaboration with Liz Scordato, Rachel Blakey, Adam Lambert, Ted Stankowich, and collaborators at The Nature Conservancy and UCANR.

Remote sensing and practical tools for post-fire restoration

We use remote sensing data to test questions related to invasion dynamics and landscape planning for restoration and reintroduction. We also work with land managers to test novel restoration techniques and provide cost-benefit analysis in a landscape context. In our current project in the Angeles National Forest, we are examining the efficacy of different restoration prescriptions across sites that vary in their abiotic stress and resource availability.