I'm interested in understanding how environmental variation leads to observed ecological patterns. My PhD research in the Chihuahuan desert (Jornada Basin) focuses on understanding how changing rainfall patterns, brought on by climate change, will influence the physiology, demography, and population dynamics of annual plants. Rainfall in the Chihuahuan desert is expected to decline in the next century, but also change in timing and intensity independent of total amount (e.g. fewer rainfall events with more rain in each). To address this, I have been using field experimentation and observations to parameterize a series of demographic models that incorporate the effects of how daily rainfall translate into whole-season demographic performance. With these models I can explore a range of scenarios for how climate change may play out in the Chihuahuan desert. These daily models also allow me to more directly link physiological responses with demographic performance to understand the physiological constraints that underly common life history trade-offs.