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Megan Peterson

Haines Family Assistant Professor of Plant Ecology
Plant Biology
3608, Miller Plant Sciences
Lab Phone:
3609, Miller Plant Sciences
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Wild populations are experiencing rapid environmental change, creating both urgent conservation needs and also fascinating natural experiments. I seek to understand how the traits of individual organisms interact with local environmental conditions to determine patterns of fitness, population persistence, and geographic distributions.

I’m particularly interested in the mechanisms that generate stability vs. tipping points in species’ responses to environmental change, and how we can scale local population processes, such as local adaptation, to the kinds of landscape- and species-level predictions that are most relevant to conservation. To tackle these questions,  I use a wide range of field and greenhouse experiments, long-term datasets, and population models, and work in a variety of plant systems, from common alpine species to rare endemics.  

Selected Publications:

PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 2015

BS Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity, with Highest Honors, UC, Davis, CA

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