Luis joined the Sala Lab in fall 2016 as a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Life Sciences program. He obtained his Bachelor Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras Campus in 2015. Luis is interested in woody plant encroachment, climate change and plants responses to changes in their environment, for which he has done related research on a variety of ecosystems like Siberian Arctic Tundra (Woods Hole Research Center), Tropical Wetlands and Tropical Dry Forest (CATEC – UPRRP). Currently Luis is expanding his research curiosity toward Desert Ecosystems. He is interested in how precipitation and herbivory interacts to affect the probability of seedlings establishment of woody plants and non-native grasses in a native-dominated grassland at the Jornada Experimental Range (Chihuahan Desert).
Svenja joined the Sala Lab in the fall of 2017 as a Master’s student the School of Sustainability. With a background in high school science education and a B.S. in Conservation Ecology from New Mexico State University, she is excited to be learning more about ecosystem responses to climate change.
Courtney will be joining the Sala Lab in the fall of 2018 as a Ph.D. student in the ELS program. She is interested in studying biogeochemical interactions between nutrients, plants, soils, and water availability in drylands. Courtney is currently the Sala Lab manager and works on a variety of field and laboratory projects. A current project of hers focuses on multi-year rainfall manipulation effects on grass and shrub phenology. Before joining the Sala Lab, she received her MSc from Arizona State University, where she investigated the ecological stoichiometry and physiological responses of three Daphnia species to phosphorus-enriched lake seston, and her BSc from the University of Notre Dame.