Koerner Biodiversity Lab
Environmental Health Sciences
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
In the fall of 2019 I began working as a PhD student in Dr. Sally Koerner’s Biodiversity Lab at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Broadly, the lab focuses on biodiversity in grassland communities and how global change factors alter the processes that maintain biodiversity. Within the lab, I work to understand how the intensity of grassland disturbances, such as grazing and fire, influence community dynamics and ecosystem functioning. My current work is mainly set in the mixed- and tall-grass prairies of the United States Great Plains.
Grasslands make up approximately 40% of the earth’s ice-free surface and offer an array of ecological services, support diverse flora and fauna, and assist in carbon sequestration. However, grasslands around the world are endangered due to land-use change, woody encroachment, and fragmentation. My work sets out to understand this beautiful but diminishing ecosystem and work with land-owners and managers to preserve the ecosystem while also utilizing it for the many agricultural services that it provides.