Sarah Kimball, Ph.D. Current position: Univeristy of Arizona (UofA) Post-Doctoral Researcher.
Graduate Work: PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine UCI 2007

 To Center for Environmental Biology homepage Kimball CV | Download CV as PDF | Publications
   
   
Sarah Kimball
 

University of California, Irvine
BIO SCI -
Center for Environmental Biology
Irvine, CA 92697-1450
office: 949-824-7151

email: skimball/at/uci.edu

Some of my research:

Tradeoffs and biodiversity

Restoration with functional groups

Global change in Coastal Sage Scrub communities

Traits influencing plant community composition

Penstemon hybrid zone: pollination, physiology, and fitness

Pollinators

Physiology

Reproductive Isolation

Restoration ecology at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Local ecology and geographic range limits

 

 

 

 


I am an evolutionary ecologist who studies how species’ traits interact with environmental conditions to determine population dynamics, range limits, and community composition.

Research Interests

Physiological, morphological, and life history traits of organisms can directly influence their ability to establish and persist in the environment.  Sets of traits determine how species interact with environmental conditions and with each other to determine population dynamics and, ultimately, community composition. How does the performance of individual species, as regulated by traits interacting with the environment, determine community structure?   I study how natural selection shapes traits of individual species, and how those traits interact with changing environmental conditions to influence population dynamics and thus determine community assembly and composition.  This topic is of fundamental importance to the field of ecology to establish links between functional biology, evolution, and community ecology, providing greater understanding of the maintenance of diversity in the context of global change.

I aim to advance ecological theory while simultaneously providing knowledge that may be used for the restoration and conservation of ecological communities.

Collaborators and Current Projects

Restoration of coastal sage scrub and native annual communities:
UCI's Center for Environmental Biology is collaborating with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy to conduct restoration experiments throughout Orange County. This collaboration addresses many research questions, including how plant traits influence community assembly.

Global change and selection on plant traits:
Mike Goulden and Katie Suding established a large rain-out experiment in Coastal Sage Scrub and Grassland communities. I have been working with Mike Goulden and Jennifer Funk to understand plant responses to these long-term manipulations.

Sonoran Desert winter annual community: Work with Amy Angert, Jennifer Gremer, Travis Huxman, and Larry Venable, focuses on a tradeoff between relative growth rate and water use efficiency. Such physiological traits relate to phenological differences among species, determine species’ responses to global change, and promote coexistence.

Range limits and hybridization: I worked with Diane Campbell to study how pollinator and physiological trait differences define the elevational range limits of two species that hybridize along an altitudinal gradient. I am continuing to investigate this hybrid system between Penstemon newberryi and P. davidsonii in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.