As an undergraduate student, I conducted research with the Vernal Pool Team at the University of Maine. I was primarily responsible for working on a project examining the biogeochemistry of vernal pool ecosystems. Specifically, I measured temporal and spatial changes in water chemistry, denitrification potential, and extracellular enzyme activity. This work was published in Ecosystems. As an undergrad, I also had the opportunity to participate in the Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates Program (University of New Hampshire) in northern Sweden. As a participant in this program I studied stoichiometric connections between bedrock, soils and foliage along with another undergraduate student, Eric Heim, under the mentorship of Dr. Serita Frey. After graduation, I returned to Sweden as a field technician working for Dr. Ruth Varner and collected data for several ongoing projects all of which focused on greenhouse gas emissions from lakes and wetlands.
My interest in urban stream ecology began during a Tropical Ecology Program through Boston University in the Amazon region of Ecuador. There, I conducted observational studies in macroinvertebrate ecology and succession, and completed plant surveys. Then, as an undergraduate student in the Odum School of Ecology, I worked as a lab technician in Dr. Capps’ lab and primarily assisted one of her graduate students with experimental work examining metal pollution and nutrient cycling in streams. In the fall of 2016, I had the opportunity to continue working in the Capps Lab, conducting independent research examining the effects of resource stoichiometry on larval mosquito survival and development in conjunction with researchers in the Department of Entomology. Currently, I am an intern in Athens-Clarke County’s Stormwater Management office, interested in challenges associated with aging wastewater infrastructure.
My graduate research in urban stream ecology will examine ecological questions within a coupled natural and human systems framework. I am excited to collaborate with current efforts in the Trail Creek Watershed and its surrounding communities.
My graduate research at the University of Georgia will focus on interactions between dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and trace metals. I will conduct experiments and observational studies to elucidate the importance of these interactions on trophic ecology and other ecosystem processes. My work will examine how differences in the composition of DOC associated with different land uses alters the fate and bioavailability of metals. The bulk of this work will be carried out at the Savannah River Ecology Lab in Aiken, South Carolina.