Lynn Fenstermaker

Dr. Lynn Fenstermaker is the Project Director the Nevada Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR.  She has experience and interests in the use of remotely sensed data to map, monitor, and assess the effect of environmental stressors on vegetation at small and large scales. She has served as Director of two NSHE climate change experiments; the Nevada Desert FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) Facility and the Mojave Global Change Facility and is currently Director of the NV Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN). All three of these projects have been examining various aspects of climate change impacts on the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. Some of her recent research on evapotranspiration has scaled leaf and canopy measurements to plant community and ecosytem levels using remotely sensed data from ground, UAV and satellite sources. Dr. Fenstermaker is the DRI liaison for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and has worked with the University of Nevada Las Vegas to develop a Class I UAS platform. This platform has been used for several years to acquire multispectral and color images of research plots to assess climate change treatment effects and basic plant cover information.

Peter Weisberg

Dr. Weisberg is interested in the causes and consequences of landscape change, including natural disturbances, effects of anthropogenic land use, ungulate-landscape interactions, and invasive species.  His research often considers past landscape change as a guide to understanding present and future condition, and integrates field studies, GIS, remote sensing and simulation modeling.  Ongoing research projects within his lab group address disturbance ecology, woodland expansion, post-fire succession, and ecological restoration in Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodlands; fire history and ecology of mountain big sagebrush communities; fire ecology of the Sierra Nevada (Lake Tahoe Basin); and the ecology of tamarisk invasions along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon.

Matt Forister

The Forister lab works in the areas of specialization, diversification, and plant-insect ecology. Specific questions and topics include the evolution of diet breadth, evolutionary interactions across trophic levels, phenology and population regulation. We are also interested in the conservation and management of insect diversity. In the field, our research includes the Great Basin, the Sierra Nevada, and much of the western hemisphere including tropical sites. In the lab, we combine physiological and behavioral experiments with genomic sequencing of novel-model organisms.

Scott Abella

Scott Abella is an assistant professor in restoration ecology with the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. His areas of expertise include fire management, ecological restoration, plant ecology, and habitat-wildlife relationships. He also owns the consulting firm Natural Resource Conservation LLC.

Our lab group focuses on restoration ecology and applied conservation science. Restoration ecology is the science behind repairing ecosystems that are damaged or destroyed. This does not mean exactly replicating some type of past or current “undisturbed” ecosystem, which is rarely even possible. Rather, restoration seeks to favorably change sites so an ecosystem can support native species and recover functions, like providing wildlife habitat. Similarly, applied conservation science provides a foundation for sustaining native ecological diversity and desired natural resources.

To advance these areas, we also conduct supporting research in fire ecology, plant ecology, invasion biology and non-native species management, and landscape ecology.