|Title||Graduate Student (MS)|
I am a Masters student in Doug Landis’ lab. Generally, I am interested in conservation ecology, restoration, education, and human interactions with the environment. My current research focuses on several aspects of the ecology and control of the invasive plant, spotted knapweed.
Spotted knapweed is invasive throughout much of the U.S. and has been recognized as a significant threat to plant and animal communities in Michigan. Effective biological control agents that specialize on this plant have been identified from decades of study in the Western US. Three of these species, all weevils, were released at several study sites in the Michigan. I am studying their establishment and impact on knapweed populations at these sites.
Even though spotted knapweed threatens many aspects of our ecosystems, it has been identified as a significant nectar resource for honeybees and many native nectar-feeding insects, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Because of this, we are conducting revegetation experiments at our biocontrol sites to try to establish native flowering plants. This will ensure that there is a continued nectar flow if biological control proves to be successful. I will also be testing the relative attractiveness of spotted knapweed and plants used in our seed mixes to different bee species.
I grew up in Petoskey, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with degrees in Ecology and Anthropology. I worked as a technician on several field ecology research projects at the University of Michigan Biological Station. Following graduation, I taught field-based environmental education to middle-school students in Connecticut, Texas, and California. I returned to school in the fall of 2011 to begin my Masters work in the Landis Lab.
In my spare time I enjoy hiking, travelling, naturalizing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and playing fiddle and mandolin.