"The University Scholars Program has given me the opportunity to conduct research for an undergraduate thesis. The program not only advances research interests and promotes scientific thinking, but also places emphasis on experimental design and technical writing skills. I hope to gain insight into all processes required for successful research, from the development of a proposal to the publication of a scientific paper."
Soil and Water Science
Genesis, morphology, and classification of wetland and aquatic soils.
- Crop Science Society of America Golden Opportunity Scholar (2011-2012)
- University Scholars Program (2011-2012)
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Agronomy Soils Club Scholarship (2011-2012)
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Honors Program (2010-Present)
- Golden Key International Honors Society (2010-Present)
- Gamma Sigma Delta Honors Society (2010-Present)
- Summa cum laude Latin Honors (2010-Present)
- Soil Science Society of America
- Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists Agronomy Soils Club
- President Wetlands Club
Hobbies and Interests
- Cooking, biking, camping, travel and welding
Physiochemical Effects of Increasing Salinity on Organic Soil Structure in the Southern Everglades
The low-lying Everglades consists of several dynamic communities that naturally evolve with the varying hydrology. With the expected sea level rise of one meter in the next 100 years, the Everglades will shift from a fresh water ridge and slough habitat to a saltwater-inundated, mangrove coastal forest. The existing organic soils, important for unique habitat diversity, nutrient storage, and sequestration of atmospheric carbon, will shift from freshwater-inundated wetlands to tidal salt marshes. Disturbing the organic soil structure will cause a dramatic shift in the ecology of the Everglades. Increasing salinity will initially cause a decrease in vegetative productivity and an increase in anaerobic decomposition, resulting in a decline of hemic and sapric soils. With the organic soil structure no longer intact, hydrologic flow will increase, displacing the organic matter and mineralized nutrients into Florida Bay. Peat collapse has already been observed in the coastal margin of Everglades National Park; a landscape that has taken thousands of years to diversify and self-organize could be upset within a century. This research assesses changes in soil structure (bulk density, cohesion) and chemistry after salt-water inundation of histosols under simulated sea level rise conditions.