Ivana Gomez graduated from UCSB in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences. As an undergrad, she was awarded an Undergraduate Research and Creative Studies (URCA) grant, which allowed her to conduct research on flowering time in Nemophila menziesii using electronic and physical herbarium specimens. She currently works in the Mazer Lab as a Field and Lab Technician. She also volunteers with Dr. Eugenio (Keno) Larios, helping to maintain his current greenhouse project examining the evolution of seed size and performance in Dithyrea californica. When she’s not at the greenhouse, you can find her jogging at the beach or eating hot wings.
My research is investigating how a California native species, Nemophila menziesii, has responded phenologically to historical and spatial variation in climate. Using herbarium records and physical plant specimens, I am addressing the following questions : (1) How do long-term climatic conditions, estimated as mean annual temperature and rainfall, influence the day of year of flowering of Nemophila menziesii; (2) How do deviations from long-term climatic conditions, estimated as the difference between the climate in the year of collection (YOC) and the mean climate, influence the day of year (DoY) of flowering? and 3) How may projected climate changes throughout the range of N. menziesii impact its phenology in the future? By comparing the effects of long-term vs. recent conditions on flowering time, I aim to distinguish between the effects of evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity on flowering time in this species.