Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
75 North Eagleville Rd, Unit 3043
Storrs, CT 06269-3043
I grew up in rural southeastern Pennsylvania. As a child, I spent a lot of time outside and became interested in identifying plants when I was very young. My parents volunteered for The Nature Conservancy, and many of my formative years were spent hanging around with Nature Conservancy botanists and helping to restore habitats.
During college, I started working with Dr. Binney Girdler, a plant community ecologist. I helped run greenhouse experiments and conducted vegetation surveys. I then went on to Stony Brook University, where I earned a Master’s degree working with Dr. Jessica Gurevitch on invasion demography of Centaurea stoebe. I then switched fields, moving to the University of Connecticut to work with Dr. Carl Schlichting studying evolution and adaptation in floral petal number. Now, I’ve switched back to Ecology to work with Dr. Robert Bagchi on understanding how forest fragmentation food webs and changes host diet breadth of caterpillar communities.
While my CV has filled with skills over the years, I still really enjoy the natural history aspect of my research: being outside, conducting fieldwork, and identifying plants. To feed this enjoyment, I’ve become very involved with bioblitzes and iNaturalist.org