While at Princeton, Frances’s research focused on how the spatially heterogeneous vegetation structure and sporadic rainfall patterns found in savannas influence the carbon dynamics of these ecosystems. Her fieldwork on the Kalahari Transect in southern Africa investigated the distribution and dynamics of soil carbon and belowground biomass.

After a postdoc at Northern Arizona University working on fire and carbon dynamics of juniper woodlands, she is now an assistant professor in the department of Civil Engineering at Auburn University.