My research involves studying the ecology and physiology of plants. Specifically, I am interested in the interplay between water availability, plant photosynthetic rates, and plant distribution patterns. In this research I incorporate both classical ecological methods (e.g. quadrats and transects to look at patterns of distribution), and new techniques such as stable isotopes (e.g. stable carbon isotope signatures, d13C; to determine long term integrated water use efficiency of plants, and stable isotopes of hydrogen dD to look at source water use; e.g. deep, groundwater sources versus shallow sources).
Over the last few years, as part of research proposed in my NSF/RUI grant (# 0516387), my research has focused on understanding water acquisition patterns of trees and how these patterns may influence the structure and function of some of the most endangered terrestrial ecosystems of the world: tropical dry forests; in this case, those of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.