Mentor: Dr. S. Luke Flory
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
"I applied to the Scholars program in the hopes of gaining experience and of getting a taste of what the world of research is like. I have been considering a career in research, and the Scholars program seemed like a great way to see what that would be like. My goals for the academic year include maintaining my GPA and learning how to complete the research and publishing process. I also hope to improve my interpersonal skills, and if possible, gain some experience with teaching or tutoring."
- Ocean Circulation
- Climate and Climate Change
- Population Ecology
- Invasive Species
- Sustainable Farming Methods
- Renewable Energy.
- Dean's List, Fall 2009-Present
- Anderson Scholar with Highest Distinction, 2011
- Gators Humans vs Zombies Club
- MSAMA Kung Fu Club
Hobbies and Interests
Assessing the Effects of Invasive Schinus Terebinthifolius (Brazilian Peppertree) on Native Plant Species Through the Release of Allelopathic Compounds
A study examining the potential allelopathic effects of the fruits and root exudates of the Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius, an exotic plant which commonly invades pine flatwoods habitats in southern Florida. The experiment consists of two parts; a growth chamber assay, and a greenhouse portion. The growth chamber assay measures the overall germination of several native pine flatwoods species, both herbaceous and woody, when exposed to an extract of the crushed fruits and seeds of S. terebinthifolius, as compared to seeds of the same species when exposed to deionized water. The greenhouse portion of the experiment measures the potential allelopathic effects of root exudates of S. terebinthifolius on the same native species by using activated carbon, or AC, to ameliorate potential allelopathic effects. A total of four different treatments will be used to assess the potential for allelopathy; natives will be grown with and without AC, and in the presence or absence of S. terebinthifolius. Treatments will be fertilized in order to offset the alterations in nutrient levels caused by AC. Additionally, S. terebinthifolius will be grown with and without AC and with and without fertilizer in order to further address the interaction of AC and fertilizer, and the effect of this interaction on plant growth. Soil samples will be analyzed post data collection in an effort to isolate allelopathic compounds. The results of this project might lead to a greater understanding of the methods by which the study species invades native communities, and contribute to future management plans regarding both the study species and allelopathic invasives in general.