Alice Stears

Alice Stears

PhD Candidate in the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming

Plant population and community ecology

I am a PhD candidate in Ecology at the University of Wyoming in the Program in Ecology and the Botany Department. I’m a plant ecologist excited about all sorts of questions, but am particularly interested in the impact of global change on the ecological processes that shape plant populations and communities. I use functional traits as tools to understand the mechanisms that drive plant responses to the environment, as well as to make predictions and draw conclusions about plant responses that are generalizable across species. I’m also excited about exploring new statistical and computational techniques to analyze and communicate ecological data. You can find more about my research projects here.

Here is my CV

Northern mixedgrass prairie

I grew up in Wyoming and Montana, and barring a four-year stint in western Massachussetts for undergrad, have lived in the Mountain West ever since. I’m passionate about conservation and management, particularly of our sprawling Western North-American landscapes, and especially enjoy thinking and learning about creative management solutions that recognize the necessary coexistence between human and non-human worlds.

Artemisia tridentata root

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a place with such tremendous access to the outdoors, and for having a family and community that encouraged recreating in and learning about the natural world. As I’m sure is common with many ecologists, I can trace my interest in science and natural history directly to my early experiences outside. I care a lot about expanding access to the outdoors and exposure to field science, particularly for young people, so that every kid has the opportunity to learn about and be fascinated by nature. These experiences are transformative, and shouldn’t be limited to those of us who are lucky enough to live with mountains, prairies, or streams in our back yard.

Sonoran desert grassland

When I’m not doing science, I’m likely doing one of the following:

  • hanging out with my dog
  • skiing in the backcountry as much as possible
  • riding a mountain bike (and very occassionally a road bike, as long as the Wyoming wind is howling too hard)
  • botanizing
  • trail running, climbing, hiking, hammocking, or really anything else outside
  • eating and cooking tasty food
  • knitting, sewing, or making other things by hand

If you’re interested in my non-science endeavors, and for some reason want to find out more, click here.

Chihuahuan desert grassland

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Alice Stears's professional research website.