Our Current Team

Elizabeth M Wolkovich – Associate Professor of Forest & Conservation Sciences

Click Image for CV

I became interested in winegrape phenology over ten years ago when I heard how diverse winegrapes were in their flowering times. In the following years I developed collaborations and began gathering historical and current data from across the globe. I started working on understanding climate change impacts on winegrape harvests and wine quality in France and collected data in Davis, California. Since then my work has expanded: I now study phenological stages (budburst, flowering, veraison and maturity) and have a general aim to (1) understand and predict impacts on winegrape phenology, (2) to better understand and document variety diversity across the globe, and (3) improve predictions of variety change with continued climate change.

Geoffrey Legault – Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a statistical ecologist interested in how populations and communities change over time. My current research focuses on developing more accurate models of winegrape phenology (i.e., timing of flowering, veraison) in order to help growers adapt to climate change and maximize harvest quality.


Faith Jones – Postdoctoral Fellow

My background is in assessing global trends in biodiversity change. I have recently started focusing on winegrapes and how their distribution and growth will likely change with climate change. I am especially interested in modelling how hardy winegrapes can get over winter, so we can estimate which cold snaps might threaten grape crops and which areas might be more suitable for growing winegrapes as winters warm. My focus in mostly on the Okanagan wine growing area, which has undergone sufficient warming over the last few decades that new varieties are now able to grow there that were previously not hardy enough for the cold winters. 

Mira Garner – Graduate Student

I am a master’s student interested in finding practical responses to climate change in viticulture. My research uses winegrape phenology records to understand how climate change has affected the development of vines and berries. This information will help us determine how climate change will impact the suitability of specific wine varieties to their current growth regions, allowing growers to plan for their vineyard’s future climate. I am using historical records from Domaine de Vassal, a research vineyard in Southern France, where they have been collecting phenological data since the 1880’s. In addition, I am collecting new phenological data from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia to incorporate into my research as well.

Phoebe Autio – Undergraduate Researcher

I am an undergraduate assistant working on a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Master of Management as part of a dual degree program at the University of British Columbia. I am personally interested in sustainable community development and working to mitigate the effects that climate change will have on communities around that world. I have joined the Temporal Ecology Lab with the goal to develop a better understanding of the research process and to build a foundation in a science field.

Sandy Zhang – Undergraduate Researcher

I am an undergraduate computer science student from the faculty of science at the University of British Columbia. I am interested in the application of data analysis and visualization in climate and agricultural science. The opportunity of being an undergraduate assistant for the lab provides an opportunity for me to better understand how data can be used in a research setting and strategies for fruit growth around climate change.

Alina Zeng - Undergraduate Researcher

I am a senior undergraduate student majoring in Urban Forestry at the University of British Columbia. As a firm believer in the partnership between the sciences and the humanities, I appreciate innovative solutions to bridge research and practice. Upon joining the Temporal Ecology Lab, all the strolling around looking at plants that I do will serve a purpose (insert smiley face). I am grateful for a chance to learn and work in our lab to enhance my understanding of terrestrial ecosystems under a changing climate. Meanwhile, I aspire to prepare myself for conducting independent research in my future endeavours around ecology and conservation sciences. 

Tolu Amuwo – Undergraduate Researcher

I am an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia. I am personally interested in studying global changes in terrestrial ecosystems and what that means for biodiversity and conservation as climate change progresses. Through this opportunity, I aim to develop my understanding of the scientific process and how collaboration within the research field is implemented.


Sophia Collins – Undergraduate Researcher

I am an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. I am interested in the implications phenological shifts have for the futures of ecosystems, and what we can do to address the ramifications of climate change as a whole. Through my involvement with the Temporal Ecology Lab I am hoping to gain a better understanding of the scientific process and how computer software can be used to interpret data.


April Mahovic – Okanagan Phenological Sampling Consultant (2020 Season)

I am a recent microbiology graduate with an interest in the impact of microbial pathogens on grapevines in British Columbia. I graduated from UBC Okanagan with my BSc Honours in Microbiology in June of 2019. After graduating, I worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, studying Grapevine Trunk Diseases. My Masters research (in Dr. José Ramón Úrbez-Torres’ lab) will focus on learning more about the effects of Grapevine Leafroll and Red Blotch disease in the Okanagan, with the goal of providing practical mitigation strategies to local growers.


If you would like to see people who have worked on this project  in the past, please see follow this link.