University of California, Riverside

Center for Conservation Biology

Affiliated Faculty of the CCB

Center for Conservation Biology UCR Affiliates

(alphabetical by last name)
Hoori Ajami

Hoori Ajami

Title: Assistant Professor of Groundwater Hydrology
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Surface water-groundwater interaction, Hydrologic modeling, Ecohydrology, GIS, Climate impacts

Understanding large scale terrestrial hydrologic processes in response to climate variability and land cover change.


Edith Allen

Title: Emeritus, Professor of Plant Ecology, & CE Natural Resources Specialist
Department: Botany and Plant

My research area is plant ecology, with emphasis on restoration ecology, soil ecology, and invasive species ecology. I work primarily in California shrublands, grasslands, and deserts, including sites impacted by anthropogenic nitrogen deposition, urbanization, grazing, agriculture, invasive species and frequent fire.  Members of my lab currently study impacts of invasive species and nitrogen deposition on plant-soil feedbacks, biodiversity decline, productivity, competitive hierarchies and functional traits of native and exotic species, vegetation type conversion, diversity and functioning of mycorrhizal fungi, nutrient dynamics, and restoration of impacted ecosystems.


Michael Allen

Title: Emeritus, Professor of Plant Pathology and Professor of Biology

My interests focus on the regulation of community and ecosystem processes by soil organisms with special emphasis on mycorrhizal fungi.  My current research concentrates on global change dynamics and structure of undisturbed areas, and how that information can be utilized in the conservation and restoration of native ecosystems.

 Juliann Allison  Juliann Allison

Title: Chair & Associate Professor
Department: Gender & Sexuality Studies
Key Words: Gender, Political economy, Environmental policy, Land Use Planning, Sustainability

Juliann Emmons Allison is a feminist scholar and Chair of the UC Riverside’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Department, who has collaborated with other CCB affiliates on research political economy, air quality and energy policy, and land use planning for more than a decade.
 Kurt Anderson Kurt Anderson

Title: Associate Professor of Biology
Department: Biology
Key Words: Freshwater ecology, Modeling, Population and community dynamics, Networks, Spatial dynamics

I am a quantitative population and community ecologist who works on a wide variety of projects at the intersection of theoretical, empirical, and applied ecology.
 Emma Aronson

Emma Aronson

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Microbiology & Plant Pathology
Key Words: Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Aeolian Microbes, Soil Microbes, Soil Ecology

My lab investigates microbial communities in soils, and how they interact with plants, animals, and the atmosphere.

 Ken Baerenklau

Ken Baerenklau

Title: Associate Provost
Department: Provost’s Office, General Ops

Analysis of land use and land cover change in shade-grown coffee regions of Veracruz, Mexico.


Roya Bahreini

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Aerosol, Air pollution, Land-atmosphere interactions, Aerosol-climate interactions

Airborne, ground-based, and laboratory measurements of aerosol composition and microphysical properties


 Cameron Barrows

Title: Associate Researcher Ecologist
Department: Center for Conservation Biology
Key Words: Climate, Invasive species, Reptiles, Citizen science, Natural history

I have been a research ecologist with the Center for Conservation Biology for over a decade; my research focuses on the impacts of environmental change on the biota of the southwestern


Travis Bean

Title: Assistant Specialist CE
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Wildland urban interface, Phenology, Integrated week management

Travis Bean is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Weed Science at the University of California, working with invasive plants of natural and managed systems from Mendocino to Imperial.  His research and extension program broadly focuses on increasing the efficacy of invasive plant management while mitigating negative impacts from treatments, and utilizing phenology to guide treatment timing and selectivity.


Holly Bik

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Nematology
Key Words: Nematodes, Biodiversity, Phylogeography, Genomics, Bioinformatics

My lab uses high-throughput sequencing and genomics tools to explore the biodiversity, evolution, and phylogeography of microbial eukaryotes in soils and marine sediments, with an emphasis on free-living marine nematodes.


Mark Chappell

Title: Professor of Biology
Department: Biology
Key Words: Energy metabolism, Energetics, Thermoregulation, Reproductive effort, Thermal tolerance

I study ecological and evolutionary physiology, as it pertains to distributions and limits, most recently with birds from the tropical Andes.


Christopher Clark

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Biology
Key Words: Hummingbird, Range expansion, Reconciliation ecology, Urban wildlife

I study the biology of birds, particularly hummingbirds, including their ecology and conservation.


Matthew Daugherty

Title: Associate Extension Specialist
Department: Entomology
Key Words: Invasion biology, Population biology, Pest management, Disease ecology, Quantitative ecology

Our research focuses on the ecology and management of invasive arthropods and plant disease in natural and agricultural ecosystems.


Jeffrey Diez

Title: Assistant Professor of Plant Ecology
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Demography, Species interactions, Climate, Invasions, Phenology

I am a community ecologist studying how multiple global changes, such as climate change and species invasions, are reshuffling ecological communities, and what this reshuffling means for patterns of species distributions and biodiversity.


Norman Ellstrand

Title: Professor of Genetics & Geneticist
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Gene-flow, Hybridization, Introgression, Conservation-genetic-policy, Plants

My current research focuses on the potential downsides of plant gene flow and hybridization, such as the evolution of invasive species.


Akif Eskalen

Title: Associate CE Specialist in Coop Ext. and
Associate Plant Pathologist

Department: Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Key Words: Plant diseases, Fungal diseases, Insect-vectored Fungal diseases, Plant disease epidemiology, and Control

My primary research interests include the biology, detection, epidemiology, and control of fungal pathogens including new potential threats, and addresses how these pathogens interact to contribute to plant decline. I use a combination of lab and field-based techniques to identify fungal pathogens and develop treatment strategies for pathogen control. Currently, I'm studying on biology, epidemiology control of a new invasive pest and diseases complex on subtropical crops and tree species in native vegetation


Janet Franklin

Title: Distinguished  Professor and Biogeographer
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words:  Conservation biogeography, Global change biology, Species distribution modeling, Plant community ecology

Our work emphasizes the impacts of human-caused landscape change especially on forest, shrublands and other plant communities, and the wildlife that depends on these habitats.


Jennifer Gee

Title: Director of the James Reserve
Department:  James Reserve, Biology
Key Words: Evolution, Speciation, Hybridization, Quail and Sonora

Jennifer Gee is an evolutionary biologist who studies how species are formed, maintained and lost. In particular, her research aims to understand the causes and consequences of hybridization across 3 pairs of quail species in the Colorado and Sonora Deserts. Her work is a blend of ecology, behavior and genetics.


Sydney Glassman

Title: Assistant Professor
Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Key Words:
soil microbial ecology, mycology, fungal-bacterial interactions, ectomycorrhizal fungi, symbiosis, dispersal, biogeography, disturbance, fire, litter decomposition

My research focuses on understanding patterns and processes governing microbial diversity, and their ecosystem functions such as terrestrial symbioses and decomposition. I am particularly interested in microbial biogeography and how dispersal and disturbances such as wildfires and invasive pathogens affect microbial succession and community composition. I specialize in fungi, particularly ectomycorrhizal fungi, but I am broadly interested in fungal ecology and how fungal-bacterial and fungal-plant interactions shape fungal ecology. 


Andrew Gray

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Watershed hydrology, geomorphology, coastal system science, Microplastics, Wildlife

Our research group is interested in the physical and biotic drivers of watershed processes, including water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphology, over event to millennial time scales.


Ken Halama

Title: Director of Motte/Emerson Reserves
Department: Natural Reserves
Key Words: Ecology, Evolution, Conservation, Habitat selection, Terrestrial

I am director of the Motte Rimrock Reserve and involved in Conservation Biology efforts in Southern California.


Amir Haghverdi

Title: Assistant Specialist in Coop Ext.
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Irrigation and water management, Precision agriculture, Soil Hydrology, Remote sensing, Data mining

The overarching goal of my research program is to investigate and develop new methods and / or improve existing methods that will result in effective management and conservation strategies of limited water resources.


Mark Hoddle

Title: Extension Specialist
Department: CE Entomology
Key Words: Invasive species, Wilderness and Natural areas, Natural enemies

I work on the classical biological control of invasive arthropod pests, some of which are significant problems of wilderness areas.


Pete Homyak

Title:  Assistant Professor
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words:
Soil microbial processes, Soil trace gas emissions, Ecosystem science, Biogeochemistry

I study interactions between microbes and the soil physical environment (e.g., the implications of how microbes respond to physical stress) across spatial and temporal scales, while focusing on the exchange of elements (e.g., C, N, and P) across the soil–atmosphere and soil–water interfaces. My work evaluates microbial and abiotic controls on soil trace gas emissions, the fate of microbial C, and how these processes are influenced by environmental factors (e.g., moisture and resource availability).


Darrel Jenerette

Title: Director, Center for Conservation Biology
Associate Professor of Functional Landscape Ecology

Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Landscape, Ecosystem, Biogeochemistry, UAV, Sensors

I am a functional landscape ecologist who studies interactions of land use and climate on ecosystem functioning in urban, agricultural, and wildlands of southern California.


Loralee Larios

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Restoration, Community ecology, Nitrogen deposition, Invasion

As an ecologist, my research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that contribute to species coexistence and patterns of biodiversity to address the challenges that plant invasions and environmental change pose to restoration and management practices.


Bai-lian Li

Title: Professor of Ecology
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Ecological complexity, Ecological modeling, Habitat hierarchy, Functional diversity, Phenotypic diversity

Larry Li uses mathematical, statistical and computational modeling applied in ecological studies, and has involved in the Center’s activities since early 2000s, especially in spatial structure of multispecies distributions in southern California, tolerance analysis of habitat loss for multispecies conservation in western Riverside County, CA, phase coupling and spatial synchrony of subpopulations of an endangered dune lizard, and land use change in Riverside County, CA.


 Amy Litt

Title: Asst. Professor & Asst. Biologist of
Plant Evolution and Development

Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Manzanitas, Plant evolution, Plant diversification, Flower and fruit evolution

We are studying the genetic basis of plant diversity at multiple scales, including how to use molecular data in combination with morphological and environmental data to define and identify species in poorly differentiated groups, using manzanitas as a study system.


Quinn McFrederick

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Entomology
Key Words: Bees, Microbiota, Pathogens, Pesticides, Symbiosis

The McFrederick lab studies the conservation of wild and managed pollinators via the study of symbiosis.


Alan McHughen

Title: CE Plant Biotechnologist and Geneticist
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Biotechnology, GMO, Genetic engineering, Regulations, Safety policy, Sustainable agriculture.

My work is focused on agricultural biotechnology, specifically how biotechnology is impacting sustainable agriculture and conservation efforts, and how appropriate regulations help assure safe and effective use of various genetic tools.


Richard Minnich

Title: Professor of Geography
Department: Earth Sciences
Key Words: Biogeography, Historical ecology, Fire ecology, Mediterranean ecosystems, Vegetation mapping, Biological invasions, Meteorology, Climate change

Fire scientist on Mediterranean ecosystems in California and Baja California using "space-time" approach in which landscape changes are traced historical aerial photographs, space imagery, written and photographic records, and geographic information systems.


Paul Nabity

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Global change, Ecophysiology, Adaptation, Phenotypic plasticity, Herbivory

My research focuses on how phenotypic plasticity in plants in response to changing climates or biotic interactions is adaptive, and how the various phenotypes we see in nature determine species interactions.


Lauren Ponisio

Title: Assistant Professor of Network Ecology
Department: Entomology
Key Words: Pollination, Community assembly, Restoration, Species interactions

I am interested in identifying how species and interactions reassemble and dissemble in response to restoration or global change, and how those communities are functionally different from those in more ``natural'' habitats. I am a new Assistant Professor in Entomology and a new member of CCB.


William Porter

Title: Asst. Professor
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Air quality, Climate, Atmosphere, Environmental justice

My work uses chemical transport models to explore the causes and consequences of air pollution.


Nicole Rafferty

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Evolution, Ecology and Orgns Bio
Key Words: Community ecology, Global change, Phenology, Pollination ecology

My research focuses on how climate change-induced shifts in phenology and distribution affect plants, pollinators, and their interactions.


Erin Rankin

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Invasion ecology, Food webs, Ecosystem services, Species interactions, Pollination

My research focuses on investigating species interactions and their effects on trophic dynamics and ecosystem services within the contexts of invasion biology, community ecology and evolutionary ecology.


Helen Regan

Title: Chair, EEOB

Department: Evolution, Ecology & Orgns Bio
Key Words: Conservation biology, Ecological modeling, Risk assessment, Decision making, Uncertainty

My research focuses on the construction and application of ecological modes to understand the impacts of global change on biodiversity, as well as examining the role uncertainty plays using ecological models to inform conservation decisions.


Joel Sachs

Title: Dept. Vice Chair
Associate Professor

Department: Evolution, Ecology & Orgns Bio
Key Words: Nitrogen fixation, Nitrogen deposition, Sustainable agriculture, Biofertilizers

The Sachs Lab studies plant microbe interactions to understand the forces that shape plant productivity and diversity.


Louis Santiago

Title: Associate Professor of
Physiological Ecology &
Assistant Physiological Ecologist

Department: Botany and Plant Sciences
Key Words: Plant Eco-Physiology, Stable isotopes, Tropical forest

My research focuses on drought resistance of plants in natural ecosystems


Kurt Schwabe

Title: Professor of
Environmental Economics and Policy

Department: SPP – Dean’s Office
Key Words: Economics, Nonmarket valuation, Water use, Drought, Ecosystem services

My research applies economic principles and tools to evaluate the benefits and costs of policies, actions, and factors that impact the environment.


James Sickman

Title: Professor of Hydrology
Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Hydrology, Biogeochemistry, Stable isotopes, Sierra Nevada

Dr. James Sickman is a Professor of Hydrology and Biogeochemistry who manages the CCB’s Facility for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry and supports the use of stables in ecological and environmental science research at UC Riverside.


Jiri Simunek

Title: Professor of
Hydrology & Hydrologist

Department: Environmental Sciences
Key Words: Hydrus, Numerical modeling, Vadose zone processes, Soil physics

“Numerical modeling of vadose zone processes”


Marko Spasojevic

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Evolution, Ecology & Orgns Bio
Key Words: Community ecology, Functional Traits, Fire, Assisted/managed relocation, Global change, Plants

I am working at the interface of ecology, biogeography and conservation with the broad goal of understanding the mechanisms that influence patterns of biodiversity, and then using that understanding to address environmental issues.


Travis Stanton

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Anthrolopology
Key Words: Maya Archaeology, Settlement patterns, Landscape, Remote sensing, Resource use

I am an archaeologist working on questions of long-term human-landscape relationships in the Yucatan Peninsula and collaborate with various faculty in the CCB.


Lynn Sweet

Title: Associate Specialist
Department: Center for Conservation Biology
Key Words: Vegetation, Invasive species, Citizen science, Natural history, Plant ecology

I am a research associate for CCB, involved in conservation and monitoring projects including vegetation mapping, species distribution modeling, and invasive species studies within the southern California inland desert region.


Chikako Takeshita

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Gender & Sexuality Studies
Key Words: Feminist environmental studies

I am a science and technology studies scholar whose work includes analyses of the discourse of sustainability.


Marguerite Waller

Title: Professor
Department: Gender & Sexuality Studies
Key Words: Sustainability, Gender, Sexuality, Interdisciplinary, Transnational

I am director of the interdisciplinary Sustainability major (B.S.) offered by the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department in collaboration with 19 other departments across the UCR campus.


William Walton

Title: Department Vice Chair
Professor of Entomology

Department: Entomology
Key Words: Constructed wetlands, Aquatic entomology, Trophic structure, mosquitoes, Native fishes

Dr. Walton works on the conservation of native fishes and wetland ecosystems with an emphasis on aquatic insects.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Center for Conservation Biology
1435 Boyce Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5494