I am currently a postdoctoral scientist working with Dr. Sarah Batterman at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. We study how plants overcome nutrient limitation through the use of nutrient acquisition strategies in the secondary tropical forests of Agua Salud Panama, in collaboration with STRI. We are also starting to investigate how nitrogen deposition has impacted the role of Robinia Pseudoacacia in eastern U.S. forests.
Left: stained root with mycorrhizal colonization; Right: Sarah Batterman and I examining stained roots roots for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under a microscope (photo: Pamela Freeman)
I did my PhD in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, advised by Dr. Robert Howarth. There, I studied the interactions of nutrients and fire on nitrogen fixation in the southeastern Amazon in collaboration with scientists from IPAM and the Woodwell Climate Research Center at Tanguro Ranch in Mato Grosso, Brazil. I spent a semester through the NSF GROW program at the University of Brasilia with Dr. Mercedes Bustamante's lab group.
At Cornell, I was an active member of the biogeochemistry student group, an IGERT trainee, a member of NextGen, and a fellow at the Atkinson Center for Sustainability. I was also advised by Lou Derry, Natalie Mahowald, and Tim Fahey.
Left: fig large tree on the Gigante Peninsula, Panama; Right: leaf litter at Fazenda Tanguro at Matto Grosso, Brazil.
Prior to graduate school, I worked as an environmental scientist at the Department of Pesticide Regulation under the Cal/EPA, and as a lab and field technician in Dr. Whendee Silver’s lab at U.C. Berkeley, where I also obtained my B.A. and B.S. I grew up in Sacramento, CA and didn’t always know that I wanted to be a scientist. You can read more about my journey here.
Left: seed pod from an Inga thibaudiana tree; Right: walking through the riparian forests at Fazenda Tanguro in Mato Grosso, Brazil (photo: Gillian Trevithick)
Left: sampling a soil pit taken over by bats at Fazenda Tanguro in Mato Grosso, Brazil (photo: Paul Lefebvre); Right: how many scientists does it take to fix a truck? (Gillian Trevithick)