Current Members


Johanna Schmitt
jschmitt at ucdavis dot edu



Megan Bontrager
mgbontrager at ucdavis dot edu

My research focuses on understanding the factors that shape geographic ranges, how populations adapt to their environments, and how species will respond to climate change. I approach these questions using a variety of methods, including large-scale field experiments, meta-analysis, landscape genetics, and climatic niche modeling. During my postdoc at Davis, I’m working with the Schmitt, Gremer, Strauss and Maloof labs to characterize the germination niche across the Streptanthus clade and investigate the impacts of germination timing on later life stages. When I’m not thinking about seeds, I like to bike, watercolor, and construct elaborate cakes. You can see more about my current and previous research on my website (


Alejandra Martinez-Berdeja
amberdeja at ucdavis dot edu

I am interested in how plants adapt to variable environments and to environmental cues occurring at different time and spatial scales. I did my PhD on the ecological and evolutionary significance of delaying seed dispersal as a strategy to cope with unpredictable rainfall and seasonal rain cues in the desert. In the Schmitt Lab, I will study germination traits in Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes to understand adaptation to different climate conditions.


Laura Leventhal
Lab Manager
lcleventh at ucdavis dot edu

I graduated from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH in 2018 with a major in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. I am interested in exploring ecological responses to climate change and plant-pollinator interactions.


 Adrianna Ng
Undergraduate Research Assistant




Lila Simpson
Undergraduate Research Assistant




Macarena Cortina-Petrasic
Undergraduate Research Assistant




Maya Martinez
Undergraduate Research Assistant