Megan DeMarche joined the Plant Biology department at UGA in 2020. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder and received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research explores the ecology and evolution of wild plant populations, with an emphasis on responses to climate change. She published as Megan Peterson until 2021.
Wild populations are experiencing rapid environmental change, creating both urgent conservation needs and also fascinating natural experiments. My research explores how plant populations cope with environmental change over space and time, and what this means for patterns of fitness, population persistence, and geographic distributions.
I’m particularly interested in the mechanisms that generate stability vs. tipping points in species’ responses to environmental change, and how we can scale local population processes, such as local adaptation, to the kinds of landscape- and species-level predictions that are most relevant to conservation. To tackle these questions, I use a wide range of field and greenhouse experiments, long-term datasets, and population models, and work in a variety of plant systems, from common alpine species to rare endemics.
PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 2015
BS Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity, with Highest Honors, University of California, Davis, CA