Emery is an evolutionary ecologist who studies the causes and consequences of habitat specialization in plant populations that occupy heterogeneous environments. Using a variety of empirical tools that include field experiments, genetic analyses, functional trait measurements, and comparative methods, Emery has examined the roles of context-dependent expression of genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity, dispersal trait evolution, and ecological interactions as drivers of habitat adaptation. She has worked in variety of plant communities and ecosystems, including vernal pools, serpentine, salt marsh, lakeshore, and deciduous woodland plant populations. At CU Boulder, she is developing new projects at the CU Mountain Research Station and in collaboration with the Niwot Ridge LTER to investigate the ecological and evolutionary drivers of plant responses to climatic variation in the Rocky Mountain flora.
evolutionary ecology, plant population biology, adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, gene flow