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California's Native Grasslands

CNGA GRASS Award Speaker Series: Roisin Murphy-Deák

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Online


  • Members attend for free!
  • Join CNGA and attend the complete series for free!
  • Free with Registration Code. Please email a copy of your student ID to

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California Native Grassland Association GRASS Award Speaker Series

Join us for the CNGA’s virtual speaker series which showcases the amazing work undertaken in California Grasslands by a few of our 2021 Grassland Research Awards for Student Scholarship Winners.

Talks are on Tuesdays from 7 PM - 8 PM PST featuring one 40-minute talk, or two 20-minute talks, with time for Q&A. 

Members: Free      Non-Members: $10       Non-Member Students: Free with Student ID

October 25, 7 pm – 8 pm

Roisin (Rosie) Murphy-Deák, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Fire effects in montane meadows

Abstract: The impact of forest fires on downstream meadow communities across California is of great ecological interest, as meadows perform critical ecosystem services and harbor high diversity in this region. Over a century of fire suppression has led to increased forest stand densities which in turn has resulted in less water availability due to increased transpiration of densely growing trees. This potentially has left less available water for downstream plant communities in meadows. If true, then high mortality wildfires in surrounding forest are predicted to lead to an increase in available downstream moisture where obligate taxa increase and dry-adapted upland taxa decline. We discuss the benefits of catastrophic fires on grassland diversity, water, and carbon cycling in California.

BIO: Roisin (Rosie) Murphy-Deak has spent the last ten years in botanical bootcamp spanning the state of California. After graduating from UC Davis in 2013 she took a job with the Hugh Safford lab aiding with various ecological projects, it was in that capacity that she was first introduced to meadow monitoring in the Lake Tahoe Basin while working for Shana Gross. Before returning to meadow monitoring she worked for CNPS (2015) and the Tahoe National Forest (2016 & 2017) where she was introduced to Dave Weixelman. From there she began a 5-year stint monitoring meadows all over California for the USFS Regional Office. During her time in the meadows job the question of how meadow composition relates to hydrology and fire in the surrounding area grew. She was able to complete a thesis on this subject at CalPoly San Luis Obispo under the tutelage of Dr. Nishi Rajakaruna. Rosie now works as a botanist at the Six Rivers NF and is currently working on a project to tie in remote sensing with the long term meadow monitoring data.

Contact Justin Luong ( with any questions.

GRASS Speaker Series Schedule (Tuesdays 7PM PST, Sept 20 – Dec 6, 2022)

Oct 25 – Roisin (Rosie) Murphy-Deák (Cal Poly SLO)

Nov 1 – Leila Wahab (UCM)

Nov 8 – Nora Bales (Cal Poly SLO)

Nov 15 – Rebecca Nelson (UCD)



Dec 6 – Ernesto Chavez-Velasco (Point Blue) and Landin Nolan (UCD)

Help Support Student Research - Donate to the GRASS Program

CNGA's GRASS Program: 

  • Focuses student research on important grassland-related questions. 
  • Inspires students to become more involved in California Grassland Conservation and Restoration. 
  • Trains future employees for your agency or company.
  • Creates advocates for California Grasslands 
Learn More About GRASS - Applications Accepted Nov 1 - Jan 31

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