My passion for plant ecology began in high school when I took a botany course that opened my eyes to the complex and fascinating biology revolving around vegetation. I have carried this interest throughout my time at CU, which led me to pursue an honors thesis studying plant ecology in the alpine. As an environment particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change, the alpine presents a unique ecosystem highly dependent on a short growing season and the distribution of winter snowpack. Considering these aspects and with the help of the Niwot Ridge LTER Program, I have continued long-term research looking at the effects of different resource distributions on alpine plant communities. I have also been exploring patterns in functional traits and how they relate to shifts in community assemblages. In doing so, I hope to strengthen predictions of what may happen to alpine vegetation under a changing climate.
Apart from my thesis, I am studying vascular plants in biocrust communities, I have traveled to the Galapagos Islands through the EBIO department, and I participate in other on-campus activities that influence and enhance my passion for science!