I am a PhD candidate in Dr. Monica Geber's lab at Cornell University, and I like looking at the natural world through the lens of community ecology. I like thinking about how species richness can be maintained in natural systems.
I am currently trying to understand how four sympatric species of Clarkia, an annual plant genus native to the Sierra Nevada foothills, interact directly and indirectly. What is compelling about this genus is that when you see one Clarkia species, it is likely that you will find another close by--they occur together in plant communities more often than not. I am currently working on quantifying the costs and benefits of co-occurrence to understand if Clarkia species benefit from each other or merely tolerate each other as neighbors in plant communities. To do so, I use field experiments to tease apart and quantify the suspected beneficial effects of pollinator sharing, an indirect interaction, from the detrimental effects of direct competition when Clarkia grow in close quarters. This work will feed into understanding when, where, and how plants can stably coexist.
In and outside of academia, I am interested in fostering a welcoming environment for scientists from all backgrounds.
A goal of mine is to help dissolve the forces that make it difficult for folks to be scientific thinkers. To do so, I have been involved with the Cornell Prison Education Program, Graduate Women in Science, the Cornell STEM initiative to support underrepresented minority undergraduate students to apply for graduate school, and the grad worker unionization effort at Cornell (CGSU). I sometimes write about these interests here.
Applications of Coexistence Theory
Can we apply the modern coexistence theory framework in the field?
Iowa State University
B.S. in Animal Ecology
How does animal movement and foraging behavior change with plant community context?
When are plant-pollinator interactions facilitative for plants? When are they competitive?