My passion lies in exploring how the living and non-living components of terrestrial environments affect one another under present and future climate change. As an ecologist and biogeochemist, my goal is to understand the major controls on carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial environments, and how these controls may be altered by rising mean annual temperatures, intensifying droughts, and rapid urbanization. I use an interdisciplinary suite of tools from molecular biology, isotope mass spectrometry, and ecosystems ecology to address these questions.
My recent study, published in the journal Ecology, shows that mean annual temperature influences the abundance of nitrogen cycling microbes in soils, leading to greater nitrogen availability for plants.
Building Inclusive Science
Systematic barriers to entry keep many people outside of science. To overcome these barriers, I worked to develop the first effort to recruit underrepresented minority students to the Cornell Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Through collaboration with other graduate students, faculty, and administrators, we brought 22 prospective students to Cornell in 2017. Learn more about this program and find the 2018 application for students here.
Outside of research, my writing focuses on the social undercurrents of science and nature. By thinking critically about the forces that shape what we know about nature, I aim to make it more accessible.