Research Interests

My research focuses on the ecology, chemistry, and physiology of plants and herbivores. I am particularly interested in the nutritional ecology of large herbivores in northern ecosystems, including moose, caribou, and black-tailed deer. To understand how habitats and plant communities influence the survival and productivity of these animals, my research explores a diversity of topics. These include studies of nutritional qualities of plants, plant defensive chemistry, plant architecture and its influence on foraging behavior and food intake rate of herbivores, the digestive physiology of herbivores, foraging behavior, and biological simulation modeling

I and my students collaborate closely with several other faculty at UAA (particularly Dr. John Kennish and Dr. Marc Perry, both of the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Kenrick Mock, Department of Math and Computer Sciences), and with collaborators in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (Dr. Sean Farley), Forest Service Research (Dr. Tom Hanley), and the US Forest Service, Chugach National Forest (Dr. Grant Harris). Most importantly, I work closely with Dr. Bill Collins of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, to whom I owe a large debt of gratitude for his hard work, steadfast dedication to the care and training of our experimental animals, and his amazing field skills.