B.A., Washington University in St. Louis M.Sc., University of Michigan Ph.D., University of Vermont
Research focuses on biodiversity conservation, landscape ecology, and farmer livelihoods within agroecosystems, mostly in Latin America.
My research focuses on transdisciplinary approaches to understanding agroecosystems. Currently, I collaborate with coffee cooperatives in northern Nicaragua to explore questions regarding biodiversity conservation and farmer decision making within communities of coffee smallholders. By using a Participatory Action Research approach, I developed research questions with the community, collected data with a team of local youth, and will submit study results to the cooperative for distribution. Incorporating both ecological and social data into the same study, I aim to better understand how the ecological landscape interacts with the social landscape across these coffee systems.
As the Botany Fellow, I aim to continue my work with coffee farmers as well as begin new research in New England that incorporates landscape ecology, biodiversity conservation, and land owner decision making.
At Wellesley, I will be teaching courses that explore the intersection of food and the environment. This fall, I lead a reading group entitled The Future of Food, in which students and faculty come together to discuss topics related to population growth, food production, and natural resource consumption. I hope to share my knowledge of Latin American food issues and social movements through future coursework that engages these themes.
I have a growing interest in how science is used (or not) within discourses of food systems issues. Agroecologists and other scientists working in food systems must balance making science accessible to broader audiences, given the impact of research in these fields, without sacrificing scientific rigor. This challenge is as important as it is fascinating.
I enjoy listening to public radio while cooking, dabbling in printmaking and sewing, live jazz, skiing, and swimming until my fingers turn to prunes.