Kathleen is interested in understanding how plant traits influence species response to environmental conditions and how functional diversity affects ecosystem properties in the applied context of ecological restoration. Her work includes synthesis of long-term regional restoration outcomes data for the Colorado Plateau as well as restoration experiments across the Southwestern US. She collaborates with the US Geological Surveys’ Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest on a project called RestoreNet. Within RestoreNet, Kathleen has installed an experiment at 8 sites across which 29 species of native perennial grasses and wildflowers were planted. Her project will test 1) what species survive where based on their functional traits and 2) what impact these species have on ecosystem properties, both in monoculture and within community. She has passion for cultivating native plants and has grown over 10,000 plants in the NAU greenhouses to perform trait assessments and for planting in her restoration experiments.
Balazs K, Kramer A, Munson S, Talkington N, Still S, & Butterfield B. The right trait in the right place at the right time: Matching traits to environment improves restoration outcomes. In Review. Ecological Applications
Kimball S, Lulow M, Balazs K, & Travis Huxman (2017) Predicting drought tolerance from slope aspect preference in restored plant communities. Ecology and Evolution.
Kimball S, Lulow M, Sorenson Q, Balazs D, Fang YC, Davis SD, & Huxman TE (2015) Cost-effective ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology.