Member since: October 31, 2011
I am eclectic in my training. The road that led me to botany was relatively long, albeit great fun. I completed an undergraduate degree in International Relations at American University. After a short period considering medicine, I decided to study plants at UC Davis. I completed an MS in plant ecological physiology and a PhD in plant ecology, all the while dedicating much time and effort to plant taxonomy. In my PhD work I investigated how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning.
Following my PhD, I returned to my roots in international relations and completed post-doctoral work as a Fulbright Scholar and with funding from NSF to determine the impact of invasive buffelgrass on native species of the Sonoran Desert of Mexico.
In my current research, funded by the USDA, I am applying what I’ve learned through theoretical work to develop restored grassland communities as bio-control for invasive species.
I am unusual among scientists in the way that I arrived to the field; however, this has given me a unique perspective on how people learn about science and how they may be motivated to conserve the natural world. This project is my attempt to raise local awareness about plants.