Graduate Student in the Sexton Lab
Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Daniel Toews is a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Systems Graduate Group at the UC Merced. He works with Dr. Jason Sexton at UC Merced whose research focus is understanding the vulnerabilities and adaptive responses of plants to a rapidly changing world. My research interests are conservation-oriented and hinge on understanding ecological and evolutionary process that influence patterns of plant diversity and plant adaptation across complex environments. More specifically, I use a combination of metagenomics (environmental DNA barcoding) and experimentation to better understand ecological and biogeographical effects that shape plant diversity and local adaptation in vernal pool wetlands. A large portion of my research aims to develop and improve protocols for detecting rare plant species in California's vernal pool wetlands that can then be used by land managers when designing or implementing conservation strategies.