Research Assistants

DSC01321Tori Bauers developed her curiosity in the relationship between plants and their environment after taking Plant Biology her first year at college. She looks forward to understanding this relationship to help grasp the effects of environmental change on both plant and animal species. She is currently assisting with research on the sugar maple tree to see if the chemistry of its maple syrup is being affected by climate change.

.

.

image

Mirrissa Davis is a recent biology graduate from Hollins, and is currently researching the anthelmintic properties of the Piratebush plant. She looks to go to graduate school for forestry management and wildlife biology and gain a career working in the park service. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my sense put into order.”- John Burroughs

.

.

DeurKayla StudentBio

Kayla Deur has a passion for people, culture, and nature, and she is spending her time at Hollins exploring the ties between those interests. Some specific topics she hopes to study further are ethnobotany, environmental sociology, and the ecological knowledge of indigenous peoples. She has recently begun researching how the livelihoods of rural and native communities depend upon the natural environment. Her current project involves the study of the socioeconomic impact of climate change on maple syrup producers.

DSC_1017

Lauren Fogarty has been involved in field research on the population dynamics and health of the rare Piratebush (Buckleya distichophylla).

.

.

.

012Christina Havrila became more interested in plants after taking Plant Biology at Hollins. She hopes to tie her newfound interest in plants to a long-time interest in animals. She wishes to explore the close connection between plants and animals and participate in various research projects that explore the relationship. She is currently researching the possible beneficial health effects of the Piratebush on the rare Allegheny Woodrat.

.

ProudBagger

Melissa Manow is currently researching the reproduction biology and conservation of the rare Piratebush (Buckleya distichophylla) in the Sandalwood family. Her professional goal is to become a field botanist, specializing in pollination biology.

 

<>

AshleyMcGuiganBioAshley McGuigan is a recent graduate in Biology from North Carolina State University. She studies Fijian ethnobotany, culture, and traditional ecological knowledge. She has a special interest in medicinal plants and finds the cultural dynamics between the two major cultural groups in Fiji, the iTaukei and Indian-Fijians, particularly interesting from a botanical perspective. She intends to earn her PhD and teach at the university level to contribute to the discipline of ethnobotany. She is currently researching the community-mediated conservation of sandalwood in the Asia-Pacific region.

<>

.

HelenMcKinney

Helen McKinney’s main focus and interests are cultural ecology, community ecology, sustainability, regulatory impacts of environmental performance, plant ecology, design and implementation of regulation, and local resource management.  She sees a relationship among all of these interests and hopes to discover and implement projects that tie all of these together.  She is currently researching the community-mediated conservation of the sandalwood tree.

.

.

IMG_1331

Patricia Thrun is a chemistry student looking at the phytochemical properties of biologically active Tongan medicinal plants and performing preliminary chemical fractionations.

 

 

<>

MesulameToraBio

Mesulame Tora graduated from the University of the South Pacific with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2013 and is currently working for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Hawaii studying agro-forestry and socio-economic resilience in the Fiji Islands. He is interested in ethnobotany, agro-forestry, and traditional ecological knowledge and is also working on the community-mediated conservation of sandalwood in the Asia-Pacific region research project. He plans to pursue these interests and further his education to earn a Master’s degree in these subjects.

 

>..

taughannock falls

Taylor  Walker is very interested in how indigenous cultural knowledge coexists with classical advances in science, especially as it concerns pharmacognosy and the ethnobotanical approach to drug discovery. She is currently assisting with research investigating the native medicinal plants of Tonga, and their potential to be harnessed as novel treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections.

RoseBio

Rose Wyatt is a senior in Environmental Studies; she is interested in seeking mechanisms that prevent loss of biodiversity and mitigating human impact on the environment. Through land utilization and consumption of resources our species now dominates all of the global environmental systems. Therefore, the ways in which human communities interact with, value, and interpret their connection to the environment is important in maintaining ecological integrity and the life support systems on which we depend. Species must also be valued for their intrinsic worth and the importance of maintaining genetic diversity. Her specific research interests include the impacts of agriculture on the environment, environmental policy, bio-cultural diversity, honeybees, community-mediated conservation, ethnobotany, and cultural geography. Her ongoing projects include studying the community-mediated conservation of the endangered Sandalwood tree in the Asia-Pacific region and working to expand access to local food systems in her hometown of Roanoke, VA.

.

.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s