RESEARCH, TEACHING, AND PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS
In my research, I examine the results of crop/livestock interactions; the role of wild biodiversity in agricultural lands; the soil and plant dynamics of animal-based agroecosystems; and the effect of agricultural practices on farmers' livelihoods. I utilize an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from the fields of agroecology, soil science, plant ecology, landscape ecology, sociology, and political ecology. In my dissertation research, I examined changes to soil quality and crop growth in integrated poultry/crop agroecosystems. I also interviewed farmers to assess the effect of integration on farm economy and sustainability and implemented associated projects assessing zoonotic pathogens and symphylans in these agroecosystems.
In my teaching, I seek to inspire students to make a personal connection to their learning, to teach the components of Agroecology essential to critical engagement with the field, and to use my research as a tool to keep my teaching cutting edge. I am particularly interested in experiential learning methodologies that allow students to contextualize knowledge and engage with action education.
As part of my commitment to interdisciplinary education and research of food systems, I have co-founded a non-profit organization, New Roots Institute for the Study of Food Systems. New Roots offers field courses and internships for undergraduate students and supports cutting-edge interdisciplinary research projects in topics related to food systems and Agroecology.
Research interests: integrated crop/livestock agriculture, pastured poultry, ecosystem services, soil carbon sequestration, farmer livelihoods, landscape conservation, rangeland ecology, political ecology
Teaching interests: Environmental Studies, Agroecology, experiential education, interdisciplinary education, student-centered learning