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Research focus

I am an ecologist interested in community and population-level dynamics of invasive plant species. My current research explores the dispersal strategies of Viburnum dilatatum (linden viburnum) and Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold viburnum) shrubs throughout New Jersey, the New York Metropolitan and the greater Philadelphia Metropolitan areas. My research employs an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates spatial modeling and landscape genetics with field-based ecological experiments. 

 

I am also interested in the mutualistic relationship formed between invasive plants and insects and how that affects native plant-insect communities. Specifically, I am looking at pollinating bee communities between co-flowering populations of the native Viburnum dentatum (southern arrowwood) and the invasive Viburnum dilatatum and the native Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) and the invasive Viburnum sieboldii to determine if the invasive viburnums alter native plant-pollinator interactions. I am also exploring the role extrafloral nectaries on the native Viburnum dentatum and the invasive Viburnum dilatatum play in attracting ant communities and what, if any, protections and defenses do ants provide against larvae of Pyrrhalta viburni (viburnum leaf beetle).

What's new?

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Had a great time at Rutgers Day! So many people stopped by to check out the Wild Campus program. Folks had a chance to learn about our research and see up close specimens from birds, snakes, insects, plants, and more.

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What a day! I had around 250 observations and went to some pretty cool sites in Staten Island for the City Nature Challenge. To hear more about our naturalist adventures, please click the button below.

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Things are starting to green up and another field season is upon us. Excited to see what bees are out pollinating our viburnums this year. Keep an eye out for all the #VerdantViburnums action. First round of flowers should bloom in a couple of weeks!

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It's been a minute. There's been a lot going on the last four weeks. My team of pollination ecologists have been bee-sy this spring catching bees. Check out what we have been up to by clicking the button below.

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Another bioblitz down! This time at South Mountain Reservation the weekend of June 22-23. We were team insect and we did a heck of a job. We found ? species and ? more than the last time they did it. Find out more about it here.