I grew up in rural south central Montana and first came to the Fargo/Moorhead area to attain my Bachelor's degree at Concordia College in Biology and Chemistry. Currently, I am a Master's student in the Biological Sciences Department in the Dr. Steve Travers lab studying plant evolutionary ecology.
My research focus is the temperature tolerance in a noxious weed called horsenettle (Solanum carolinense), which is spreading northward. Horsenettle currently spans much of the United States and resides in places of dramatically different temperature regimes. I am specifically comparing the temperature tolerance of populations in Texas and Minnesota for both the gametophytic (haploid) and sporophytic (diploid) life history stages to better understand the mechanisms of adaptation and evolution of temperature tolerance. My research is important because climate change is altering local conditions which affects the ranges in which plants can live or crops can grow. Understanding mechanisms of temperature tolerance adaptations has implications for restoration efforts and crop breeding.