Community Ecology, Chemical Ecology, and Climate Change
I am interested in understanding how plant communities respond to climate change through changes in plant communication and defense. Changes in a plant's emissions of chemical compounds can alter both the ability of the plant to defend itself and the ability for the plant to communicate this stress to other, nearby plants. Many stressors may induce these changes in plant emissions, but I am mainly interested in stressors associated with climate change, such as drought and warming.
I am currently a PhD student in Integrative Biology and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at Michigan State University in Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske's Spatial and Community Ecology Lab. My research during my PhD will focus on determining how plants alter their chemical emissions and defense traits when undergoing multiple stressors in natural systems.
Prior to my PhD, I received my B.S. in Biology (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) at Penn State Behrend, where I was advised by Dr. Michael Campbell. My lab work involved determining how potato fungal growth was suppressed when exposed to certain chemical compounds. I also interned at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, where I studied how Lake Erie's microclimate influences changes in air temperature and frost dates.