Project Coordinator (Present)
Education Coordinator Oct 2010;Jan 2012
The Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
In January 2006, I was fortunate to participate in a Tropical Ecosystems course, traveling to Costa Rica, through Berkshire Community College. A requirement of the course was for each student to pick a research topic that would later be presented in the field. At the time I knew very little about the tropics, when Orchids was suggested as at topic I did not even know what they were. Since then this amazingly unique and diverse plant family has captivated me.
During my undergraduate training in Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, my interest in orchids become focused on reproductive biology. Now I am combining my knowledge of plant biology with my environmental studies skills to advance scientific knowledge of the Orchidaceae.
My Master’s thesis focuses on the reproductive biology of the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), an orchid native to Northeastern North America, and examines the relationship between the co-blooming sympatric flora and the reproductive success of the Pink Lady’s Slipper. My hope is that this knowledge with aid in the development of conservation management plans that incorporate the reproductive structure of the plant.