Fieldwork was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it finally happened! Got a ton of work done and met some amazing connections in the Rabai community and the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) along the way. I can't wait to see what patterns emerge from the data and to return for more research!
The 2020 American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting is officially underway! This year's virtual format has provided the opportunity to watch several presentations anytime and to engage creatively via chats, live workshops, and social media. I presented published work for the first time at the B101 session entitled "Soils in the Anthropocene: The Effect of Plant Communities and their Microbial Associations on Soil Biogeochemistry I". Watch the recorded video here. Join me and other soil nerds for the live Q & A on December 15th. I hope you learn as much from my presentation as I've learned from others. I've heard incredible talks about tips for supporting undergraduate research, using science to support communities in climate adaptation, overcoming imposter syndrome, space travel, and more. Although this has been my first AGU, it will certainly not be my last!
Finally! After several months of extensive (but incredibly helpful) revisions with the Journal of Applied Soil Ecology, my first peer reviewed paper has been published. I am the first author on the paper, having worked with my colleagues at University of Arizona during my Masters degree program on this project. I am so proud of this accomplishment. I really enjoyed the challenging process of interpreting my data, and drafting a clear narrative to explain its importance. As one hypothesis is discounted, yet another is born. Here's to many more!
Cornell University's Atkinson Center supports an amazing array of interdisciplinary research and outreach on environmental issues. This fall, I applied for the Sustainable Biodiversity Fund to support my fieldwork on native plant microclimates in kaya forests. My application was accepted! I'll receive funding for my first field season, access to a network of brilliant interdisciplinary scholars, and the incredible honor of being named a 2020 Sustainable Biodiversity Fellow:
After two weeks of visiting sacred forests, meeting with land managers and community members, and visiting local forestry labs, I'm excited to have laid the groundwork for what will be a very interesting PhD research program.
It was an honor to spend the last two weeks at University of Utah for an intensive course in stable isotopes. Stable isotope techniques are crucial to understanding biogeochemistry and functional ecology. Two projects and several lectures later, I am now part of an amazing network of scientists and am so much more knowledgeable about how stable isotopes can inform research about the natural world.