My research while in the Eggert lab was in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Conservation, examining the genetic diversity and population structure of the shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) in the Missouri Ozarks. Shortleaf pine, Missouri’s only native pine species, has a long history of great economic and ecological value to southeastern Missouri and the American Southwest. Shortleaf pine was the subject of heavy logging during the Ozark timber boom of the 1880s to the 1920s, leading to a dramatic reduction in population size across southeastern Missouri. Since its overexploitation, efforts have been made to actively manage shortleaf pine populations. These management efforts have occurred primarily on federal and state land, but there is a push to incorporate shortleaf management strategies on private lands. Examining the diversity and population structure of the remaining historic pines will determine if seed stock used to reestablish shortleaf populations needs to be compartmentalized geographically.
I graduated with Biological Sciences major and Anthropology minor at the University of Missouri in May 2016. While broad, my research interests include molecular ecology, behavioral biology, mammalian and avian conservation, and the preservation of our wildlands and their biodiversity. I have also conducted behavioral research at the St. Louis Zoo for the Endangered Species Research Center and Veterinary Hospital. In addition to research, I have a strong passion for science education and outreach and have served as a biological sciences peer advisor for the university for three years.
I plan to continue my research career and earn a Ph.D. in ecology.
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