Lab Group

Dr. Julia Klein Julia Klein
Associate Professor
Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Dr. Klein’s CV
The broad goals of my research are to understand the interactions among climate, grazing, and the structure and function of grassland and alpine ecosystems and how human activities and global changes are altering these systems. I address these issues using a suite of study approaches, from experimental manipulations to ecosystem modeling. My work considers multiple scales, from species-level investigations to landscape-scale processes. Moreover, I work across disciplines to understand the complex dynamics of the coupled human-environment system in grassland and alpine regions of the world.




Cara Steger
PhD Candidate
Cara’s CV

My research engages at the intersection of natural and social science, using models of human-environment relationships to facilitate collaboration and learning among diverse groups of stakeholders. 


Kerry Byrne Kerry Byrne
PhD Candidate
(co-advised by Bill Lauenroth at the University of Wyoming)
Kerry’s CV
I am interested in how global change affects plant species composition and species distribution, and how these changes may affect ecosystem functioning. Additionally, I am recently interested in what constitutes “extreme” climatic events, and whether these extreme events can have a disproportionate impact on ecosystem structure and function. My dissertation research examines the effects of climate change on plant species composition and community structure in native grassland communities in the Great Plains of North America, using a combination of field experiments, modeling, and long term data sets to help answer my research questions.


Laura Dev Laura Dev
MS Student, NSF Graduate Fellow
(co-advised by Cynthia Brown and
Dana Blumenthal)
Laura’s CV

Broadly, I am interested in how climate and land-use act as controls on ecosystem processes and vegetation structure. The focus of my masters research is investigating how the seasonal timing of water availability mediates how grassland plant communities respond to grazing. I have two parts to this: one is a global meta-analysis identifying broad-scale patterns in species compositional response to grazing as a function of climate; the other component is a more mechanistic study looking at changes in plant traits in response to climate and grazing manipulations on the Tibetan Plateau.


Tsechoe Dorji Tsechoe Dorji
PhD Candidate
(co-advised by Ørjan Totland at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
Tsechoe’s CV 
Tsechoe’s webpage
I focus my work on effects of climate change and human disturbances on alpine plant ecology and rangeland health. I am especially interested in how plant phenology and functional traits respond to changes in temperature, water availability and land use patterns. I am currently working on my PhD project using both a natural climate gradient (elevation gradient) and experimental approaches to understand how alpine plant species from different functional groups respond to warming temperature, early spring snow addition, yak grazing and pika grazing. The experimental part of my PhD project is part of an ongoing research project that is led by Dr. Julia Klein. I am also involved in two state major science and technology support projects and one state natural science fund project led by Professor Wei Xuehong from the Agricultural and Animal Husbandry College of Tibet University. I am also principle investigator for a research project called pastoralist cultural and wildlife biodiversity in the Chang Tang Nature Reserve, funded by the ministry of personnel, the People’s Republic of China.


Kelly Hopping Kelly Hopping
PhD Student, NSF Graduate Fellow
Kelly’s CV
Kelly’s website
I am interested in how ecosystems are affected by global change, particularly in alpine and grassland regions where people’s close dependence on the landscape creates tightly coupled feedbacks between ecological structure and function, land use, knowledge, and decision making.  For my dissertation research in central Tibet, I am examining the effects of changing climate and natural resource management practices on ecosystem processes and plant species composition, as well as on the livelihoods of local pastoralists.  I am taking an interdisciplinary approach by linking experimental manipulations, satellite imagery, and household interviews in order to better understand how this social-ecological system will respond to change.


Bradley Schmidt Brad Schmidt
Undergraduate Honors Research Assistant


Lab Alumni


Aaron Berdanier

Aaron Berdanier
M.S., 2010
Climatic constraints on high-elevation

Aaron’s website


Dr. Jia Hu

Jia Hu
Postdoctoral Researcher, 2009-2010
Ecosystem cabon and water dynamics on the Tibetan

Jia’s website


Dr. Joseph Bump

Joseph Bump
Postdoctoral Researcher, 2008-2009
Ecosystem and Herder Vulnerability to Climate Change on the Tibetan

Joseph’s website



Visiting Scholars


Dr. TANG Yanhong Yanhong Tang
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
at CSU 2008-2009



Research Assistants

Beth Roskilly

Beth Roskilly
<span “class=”style2”>Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2011
B.A., University of Montana-Missoula

Tenzin Tarchen
Undergraduate researcher, 2011
Tibet Agricultural University

Jennifer Parrish Helen Chmura

Jennifer Parrish
Research Experience for Teachers, 2011
Teacher at Union Colony Preparatory School in Greeley, CO

Helen Chmura
Watson Fellow,
Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2010-11
B.A., Swarthmore College
Cullen Chapman Lauren Barry

Cullen Chapman
Undergraduate researcher, 2010-2011
Colorado State University

Lauren Barry
Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2010
B.A., Washington University

Paliza Shrestha Hoi-Fei Mok

Paliza Shrestha
Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2010
B.A., Mount Holyoke College

Hoi-Fei Mok
Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2010
B.A., Wellesley College

Kristina Halliman Chelsea Morgan

Kristina Halliman
REU student, 2010
State University of New York, Fredonia

Chelsea Morgan
Post-baccalaureate researcher, 2010 
B.A., University of Colorado-Boulder

LI Chengding 
Undergraduate researcher, 2010
Tibet University, Lhasa
LI Hailin 
Undergraduate researcher, 2010
Tibet University, Lhasa
Pan Jianbing Wu Qianru

PAN Jianbing
M.S. student, 2009-2010
Lanzhou University

WU Qianru
M.S. student, 2009
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Christine Byrne Rinzin

Christine Byrne
REU student, 2009
University of California, Berkeley

Undergraduate researcher, 2009
Tibet Agricultural University