Adventures as a scientist and as a cyclist.

Here will find older posts about my many bicycling adventures and more recent posts about my research, with a sprinkling of other cycling related posts. Holler at me if you have questions about my research, or just want to chat about my latest bike adventure.

About

I am a student in the Natural Resources and Earth System Sciences (NRESS) PhD program at the University of New Hampshire. In 2015, I received my master’s degree from the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee where I worked on understanding the impact that urbanization has on the evolutionary trajectory of species and phylogenetic diversity.

My PhD research focuses on soil ecology in agroecosystems and explores ideas around nutrient cycling and plant-microbe-soil interactions. Currently, I work on several projects that use long term agricultural research (LTAR) sites across the midwest, including the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners, MI and the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC) in Mead, NE.

I am also a proficient mountain biker and compete on an elite level in the Enduro discipline. When I am not focused on my research, you can find me on the race circuit or riding bikes for leisure. I also spend my time promoting cycling advocacy, women in cycling, women in STEM, and sustainable farming practices. I am passionate about the outdoors, so I am always out and about exploring on bicycle or foot, trail or road, and either solo or with good company.

Research

Nitrogen Dynamics in Agroecosystems

Excessive nitrogen as a result of agricultural production results in leaching of unused nitrates, which ultimately have severe consequences for surrounding watersheds. There are currently strategies in place that aim to reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer applications; for example, the use of cover crops is known to simultaneously increase bioavailable nitrogen and soil organic matter, while reducing the need to introduce inorganic fertilizers. In order to further limit inorganic nitrogen additions, it is necessary to understand all facets of nitrogen dynamics within agroecosystems. It is well understood that nitrogen is highly mobile in the soil and that it can transcend multiple pools as it cycles through the system. However, the rate at which nitrogen moves about in addition to the quantity of nitrogen deposited into each pool still remain unclear. My research aims to identify drivers that regulate the rate and distribution of nitrogen into different pools.

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