Two new saltwater intrusion publications

I’m happy to finally be able to share two new publications based on our team’s work investigating saltwater intrusion and sea level rise effects in the Everglades. This is the culmination of years of work in a special place.

Copy of Copy of 2017-04-13 11.52.10

The first paper (published in Ecological Applications) comes from an experiment where we have been adding saltwater to the Everglades and measuring how plants and soils respond. In one sentence, we found that saltwater, at very low concentrations, decreased plant roots in soils, and at much higher concentrations, finally began to stress plants aboveground.

News article summarizing work


The second paper (Published in Ecology) comes from an experiment where we tested subsidy-stress responses associated with sea level rise. We found that although saltwater intrusion may provide a subsidy to plants through more phosphorus availability, plant roots died from salt stress, leading to peat collapse.

News article summarizing work


Science Policy Fellowship


I am excited to finally be able to announce that I will be joining the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Lafayette, LA as a Science Policy Fellow through the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program! In this position, I will be assisting in coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. I’m super excited to start this new journey and career! I really like this little write up that FIU did about me receiving the fellowship, and am excited that my colleague, Dr. Shelby Servais, also received this same Fellowship!

2017 ESA Lucy Braun Award

This is some crazy news, not only because I won it, but because it took them 10 months to tell me that I did. I am happy to announce that I won the 2017 Ecological Society of America’s Lucy Braun award for best student poster at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon (all the way back in August 2017). There is always so much amazing student research that gets presented at these conferences, to be honored with this award is truly a highlight of my scientific career. I will be so giddy when I accept the award at the 2018 ESA Annual Meeting in New Orleans this August.

This research highlighted my work on saltwater intrusion into the Everglades, specifically how a stress (salt) and subsidy (Phosphorus) respond in tandem to affect marsh ecosystem processes. This manuscript is currently in review, and I will hopefully have some neat things to share soon in the future. You can read the press release and a little write up about the work here:

Until then, here is a #tbt me presenting the poster last August!


1st Place Poster at the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER Meeting


Yesterday, I got to celebrate my birthday by presenting my research on peat collapse in coastal wetlands at the 2018 FCE LTER All Scientists Meeting at the beautiful Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Miami, FL. My poster was awarded 1st place! What a great birthday present to get, and so humbled by the response to my Ph.D. research. At the same time, this is a bittersweet moment as my last presentation ever as a student. But excited about what’s coming next. Stay tuned for some exciting news at the end of the month!

Dissertation Zine now available

Graduate students are forced to translate years of research into a bulky, impersonal thesis or dissertation. While this feels rewarding when complete, in reality, very few people will read it, and even less will understand it and grasp the main conclusions of the research. I set out to change this by producing a “Zine” of my dissertation research. Full of pictures and with each chapter distilled down to only a few hundred words, I hope that this makes my research findings more accessible to everyone. Enjoy!


Dissertation: Defended

I can’t believe this day has finally come. On March 23, 2018, I presented my research findings to my colleagues, peers, and the public. My dissertation work has been incredibly well received, including winning FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Education’s “Best Dissertation” award. I will be posting a lot more about my research and the results I found in the next couple of weeks (now that I actually have some more time to do so!). Stay Tuned!


I was excited today to receive a call informing me that, after the dozens of fellowships and grants I’ve been applying for over the years, I’ve finally received one of great significance! This National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant will allow me to investigate interesting responses I’ve seen with saltwater intrusion and drought in the brackish marshes of the Everglades. The exact details of the award and my final chapter can be found here.