I am an interdisciplinary conservation scientist focused on habitat restoration on public and private lands. I received my Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2020, following a B.S. in Biology and Global Justice from Central Michigan University. I love engaging undergraduate students in the research process–especially field research–through both independent and class projects. I am also a giant SciFi/Fantasy nerd, love nature photography and have probably too many pets and plants with partner Evan.
I teach at Earlham because I am passionate about introducing students to conservation, biodiversity and natural history. There are real-world implications associated with teaching ecology and environmental science in the midst of environmental crises, and there is great power in cultivating a “sense of place” through reciprocal relationships with nature and the land. It is my intention to promote agency, curiosity and hope within students, helping them become capable and mindful community members within an increasingly complex local and global context.
- Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- B.S., Central Michigan University
- Society for Range Management
- International Association for Society & Natural Resources
- The International Association for Landscape Ecology, North American Section
- American Ornithology
Grasslands are my favorite biome, and many of my projects involve navigating the complex social and ecological considerations when restoring wildlife habitat through invasive plant management. Field studies on birds, arthropods and plants, combined with landowner surveys and GIS analyses, form the backbone of my research. These projects have largely taken place in the Grand River Grasslands of southern Iowa and northern Missouri–one of the few regions in the Midwest with large tracts of remaining grasslands not yet converted to corn and soy.
On the first day of EcoBio, we define Ecology as “the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment – including humans!” Considering people as a part of ecological communities becomes especially obvious in landscapes with a heavy human footprint – including grasslands, agricultural fields and urban areas. I am an applied ecologist working on habitat restoration in human-dominated systems, conducting research at the intersection of people and the environment, with a particular focus on birds, arthropods and native and invasive plants!
I have two primary areas of interest: 1) Habitat restoration for declining wildlife, and 2) Human behavior and conservation on private lands. I enjoy collaborating across disciplinary boundaries with both social and natural scientists on these topics. I have worked with undergraduate students on projects under these two research areas–including many, many posters and several peer-reviewed publications co-authored by students. Underpinning this work is a desire to make conservation more accessible, equitable and welcoming to minoritized individuals.
A full list of publications can be found on my Google Scholar profile.