Research

Research Interests

My doctoral research (Ohio University, Athens, OH) focused on halophyte biology with an emphasis on the species Atriplex prostrata and Salicornia europaea (Chenopodiaceae). This research incorporated both field and laboratory experiments reflecting my interest in physiological ecology. My M.S. research (Miami University, Oxford, OH) was a study in which I tried to induce a greater concentration of taxol in the bark of yew trees through simulated insect attack and plant growth regulators. Taxol is an effective cancer treatment that is produced in the bark of yew trees, probably as an anti-herbivory mechanism.

My recent publications include overseas collaborations on halophytes and ecological physiology, community ecological studies on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas, and science pedagogy. My future research plans are to continue publishing in all of these fields.

In addition to statistical skills, I have gained experience employing analytical techniques such as high performance liquid chromatography, photosynthetic gas exchange, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and molecular biology techniques.

I am especially interested in performing experiments in which interested students could actively participate. I feel research is important so science students can become familiar with the research process. To that end I have been an active participant in Elmira College’s summer research program. In this program students are selected for an eight week research internship with a sponsoring professor. My collaborations with students has included research with chili peppers and salt tolerance, research on the Lucy Herbarium, and collaborative work with the local USDA Plant Material Resource Center. Over the course of the school year I have also mentored student research.

Upon completion of research projects I have taken my students to present their findings at scientific meetings. These include Sigma Xi meetings as well as the Natural History meeting on San Salvador Island. When research is ultimately published in scientific journals I encourage students to complete as much of the writing as they can so they may earn first authorship.

Long Term Goals

My long term goals reflect my teaching philosophy and research interests. I want to grow as a research scientist and motivate students to want to explore the mysteries of the natural world. Future research plans are to continue to extend my present research effort towards environmental and agricultural goals. Many states have lists of areas contaminated by brine spills and a sensible approach is to perform reclamation experiments in these areas. Different halophytic species are already known to be able to revegetate saline contaminated soils, and there are many more that may have the same potential. I would be interested in determining which native species are able to perform this task most efficiently and direct studies to determine a plant which would best reclaim brine contaminated areas.