Ph.D., Ecology, Duke University M.S., Range Sciences, Utah State University B.S., Biology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
M.S. and Ph.D. students interested in joining the lab please contact Professor Ibáñez.
My major research interests focus on the current challenges that plant communities are facing in the context of global change, i.e. climate change, invasive species, and landscape fragmentation. These challenges are interconnected as they form the novel environment under which plants are growing. The fact that forest communities are highly dependent on recruitment dynamics makes the study of early demographic stages critical for understanding the impact of global change on the natural ecosystems around us.
To isolate these phenomena, I have directed my research at the recruitment of dominant tree species, from seed production to the sapling stage, including seed dispersal, germination, establishment and survival during the first years. This line of research covers a gap on the study of vegetation response to global change, where most work done has been on the basis of correlative approaches, e.g., climate envelopes. By focusing on the actual demographic responses of plant species to a changing environment, results from my work will be essential to forecast reliable vegetation changes under future climate scenarios.
UMich – NRE 501: Forest Ecology, a graduate level course. In this course we cover from the basic concepts in ecology that apply to forests to the challenges that forests face due to global change (climate change, landscape fragmentation, invasions). We study the ecological mechanisms behind individuals, populations, communities and whole ecosystems together with the dynamic processes associated to forests (succession, disturbances). We also review the role and impact of humans on these communities.
UMich – NRE 455, EEB 355, PitE 337: Woody Plants: Natural History and Identification. Woody Plants is an intensive field- and lecture-based learning experience, in which undergraduate and graduate students learn to identify 160 woody plant species (trees, shrubs and vines) that are important in Michigan environments. Students learn about their taxonomy, distribution, habitat associations, and biogeographic history and even how to identify them in their leafless winter condition. The lab component consists of weekly field trips in the Ann Arbor area, which include riparian and floodplain habitats, glacial lakes, moraines, bogs, fens and mesic forests. The lectures cover elementary aspects of plant identification, taxonomy and ecology. The broader themes treated in lecture include biogeographic history and the assembly of Michigan plant communities, both before and after major glaciations, ecological specialization, and impacts of global warming and other anthropogenic environmental changes.
Workshop Co-organizer: Ogle, K., Ibáñez, I., and Hille Ris Lambers, J. A brief introduction to hierarchical Bayesian modeling in ecology Ecological Society of America, Annual Meeting August 6th, 2006, August 5th, 2007. Accepted for the 2008 Meeting.