I’m a first year PhD student in the Jetz Lab. Originally from India, I grew up in Viet Nam, Malaysia and India. I earned a B.S. in Natural Sciences from Durham University, UK and a MEM from Duke University with Dr. Jim Clark. My research interests are broadly centered on building statistical models to predict and study the impact of climate change on forest biodiversity. A predictive understanding of ecological trends and underlying processes is vital for management of our forest resources. The pivotal role of forests in climate regulation, carbon cycling, provision of habitat, and other ecosystem services gives meaning and purpose to my research ambitions.
Currently, I am interested in integrating models of evolution to answer questions of spatio-temporal drivers of biodiversity distribution. Species distributions in space and time are determined not only by local conditions but a tendency of related species to share environmental tolerances. As a result, species’ phylogenetic relationships have the potential to inform our estimates of their ecological niches. Leveraging phylogenetic information to improve predictions of distributions has the potential to address the rare species paradox (i.e. rare species are most important from a conservation point of view but are almost always data deficient). Further, I am interested in using evolutionary history and biogeography to inform questions of how species will adapt to a rapidly changing world.