I joined the EBI and DeLucia lab in January, 2008 after completing my M.S. in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois. I am interested in too many aspects of ecology, most of them concerning plants. Luckily I was able to combine several of my interests to complete my degree at UIUC including: invasive insects and pathogens, plant competition, and soil nutrient cycling. I was also given the opportunity to work at the renowned Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire for an entire summer. I completed my thesis comparing the relationship between soil and foliar cations, particularly calcium, in canopy gaps formed as a result of beech bark disease.
While it was a struggle for me to leave natural systems behind, the research being conducted here at EBI is very exciting. I am currently a laboratory technician involved in the construction and facilitation of research concerning biofuel biogeochemistry. The primary objective of this research is to quantify major carbon pools and fluxes in plots of plausible biofuel species such as Miscanthus x giganteus, switchgrass(Panicum virgatum), a mixture restored prairie species, and corn (Zea mays). This project will develop a mechanistic understanding of feedstock crop impacts upon major ecosystem processes, such as atmospheric carbon sequestration, soil nitrogen retention, and greenhouse gas production.