After experiences being employed with the federal government, state government and most recently academia in the years after college, I’ve found my way back to school – and Dr. Estes’ lab! My general interest is in the diversity and biogeographical patterns of vascular plant species, especially as they occur here in the eastern US.
My master's thesis is a floristic study of the main stem of the Big South Fork River, approximately 75 river miles beginning near Oneida, TN, flowing north into Cumberland Lake near Somerset, KY. In particular, my focus is on the flood scoured areas that fringe the river where more plant diversity, rarity and endemism occurs than anywhere else in the surrounding landscape. The rugged terrain of the Big South Fork River gorge and the inherent difficulty in accessing remote scour likely explains the lack of floristic work on this system. My aim is to document a complete checklist of species inhabiting riverscour along the Big South Fork.
This '15 season I will wrap up my floristic inventory and conduct plot work to inform riverscour community designations by documenting the diversity plant community assemblages as they correspond to the abiotic conditions of a site.
In the summers I work on contracts with state and federal conservation agencies doing surveys and plot work. My labmate, Devin Rodgers, and I have also worked as private subcontractors doing plant surveys in the Nashville area.
B.S. Biology, James Madison University, 2012
Estes, D., J. Shaw, and C. Mausert-Mooney. 2015. Lysimachia lewisii (Primulaceae): a new species from Tennessee and Alabama. Phytoneuron 2015-17: 1–15.