"I applied to the program with the goal of pursuing my own scientific interests through an independent research project. I hoped to learn more about ecology and evolution by conducting thorough background research that would help me develop my own research questions. I continue to learn about the process of writing a scientific paper, and aim to publish in the Journal of Undergraduate Research this year. Conducting field research, gathering and analyzing data, and writing a paper will be an invaluable experience for graduates school."
Ecology and evolution of behavior Social information use.
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences McLaughlin Scholarship Best Paper Award
- 2009 Graduate Student Council Interdisciplinary Research Conference
- National Merit Scholar Univerisity of Florida Dean's List
- UF Circle K International
- Projects associated with Circle K International and Kiwanis.
Hobbies and Interests
- Community service events, reading, hiking, watching movies and TV shows
Variation in Habitat Use by Chelinidae Vittiger Adults and Nymphs
In the months of June through August 2011, I worked with a partner to conduct field research in the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station. Using randomly generated GPS coordinate points, we walked 50 meter long, 1 meter wide transects throughout the station searching for Chelinidae vittiger insects. C. vittiger feeds on prickly pear cactus, which is native to North-Central Florida and found in ruteral habitat within the station. Whenever we found an insect, we measured the size of the cactus patch it was found on, the height of surrounding vegetation, and the presence of Cochineal, an insect whose feeding habits may degrade cactus quality. I took the information we gathered and searched for relationships between habitat structure (as defined by the three measures aforementioned) and the numbers and presence of C. vittiger adults and nymphs. The results of this project may shed light on the action of habitat selection in the field: specifically, the interaction of environmental conditions and the adult and nymphal life stages in insects.