Heather Kharouba

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis

Research

Broadly, I’m interested in improving our ability to predict and mitigate the impacts of climate and land-use changes on species’ populations. My research focuses on better understanding the spatial and phenological interaction between insect herbivores and their host plants.

Climate warming has already been linked to phenological (the timing of seasonal activities) changes in many taxonomic groups. Insect herbivores are especially likely to be affected by climate change both directly, given their physiological and behavioural requirements, and also indirectly, through interactions with their host plants. Moreover, insects are expected to respond to climate change faster than their host plants. This difference in response times is likely to affect the phenological synchronization with their host plants, potentially leading to fitness consequences. My PhD research seeks to better understand this synchronization in the context of climate change. To do so, I am using a broad-scale approach using historical collection records as well as a field experiment.

Experience

  • –present
    Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis