I aim to foster a passion for science by sharing my own excitement for research. My hope is for my mentees to come away with a deeper understanding and respect for the scientific process and have professional development experiences that will help them to advance in their career. I feel that the relationship between mentor and mentee evolves over time, with the mentee eventually becoming a colleague that I will continue to work with throughout my career.
Mentoring helps to keep my research interests broad, and provides new perspectives on my own questions and methods. I find it a valuable experience to practice explaining my research to mentees and it helps me to identify my main interest areas. When I explain why I am excited about my research, it reminds me again why I chose a career in research and gives me a renewed passion for what I do.
Daniel MacGuigan, University of Rochester, National Science Foundation, REU Summer 2013. Dan executed an independent research project, looking at the role of tolerance and competitive ability in invasive species success. He presented his work to the KBS community and we are working to publish the results of his project. Dan is currently working towards a PhD in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at Yale!
Gabriel Stewart, Michigan State University, Undergraduate Research Apprentice Summer 2013. Gabriel participated in a large common garden experiment addressing the Enemy Release Hypothesis. During the summer he helped collect a large amount of field and greenhouse data.
Cristy Portales Reyes, University of Texas at Austin, National Science Foundation, REU Summer 2013. Continuing on her work as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice in 2012, Cristy returned to KBS to work with myself and another graduate student, Tomomi Suwa. Her project looks at the effects of invasive species, garlic mustard, on rhizobia mutualists through a novel allelochemical. She performed both field and greenhouse experiments, and her work was just accepted to Biological Invasions! Cristy presented her research at the ESA Annual Meeting in 2013 and to the KBS community. She is currently working towards a PhD in plant biology at the University of Minnesota!
Christina Van Doornik, Michigan State University, Undergraduate Research Apprentice Summer 2012. Tina helped with my dissertation research, and also executed an independent research project with undergraduate Cristy Portales Reyes. They presented their work at several research symposium, won awards for their work as undergraduate researchers, and had a paper accepted to Biological Invasions. Tina is currently working towards a masters degree at the University of Miami in tropical marine ecosystem management!
Sean Mooney, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, Intel Science Talent Search Summer 2012. I mentored Sean as he completed his Intel Science project. I helped Sean to come up with a question using an already existing climate change experiment present at KBS. We worked to identify native and invasive plant species, collect data on plant responses to climate change, analyzed and interpreted results, and he wrote up the findings. Sean also made a Data Nugget based off his research!
Jacob Sharp, Harper Creek High School, volunteer Summer 2012. Currently studying biology as an undergraduate at Kellogg Community College.
David Williams, Lawton High School, National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Teachers, Summer 2011 & 2012. I worked with Dave as he worked as an RET in the Lau Lab. He assisted me on my dissertation research on the Enemy Release Hypothesis, helped to implement a long-term field experiment on this topic, developed an enemy release lesson plan for K-12 schools, and began work on a website where students can simulate different management strategies for the control of invasive plants. Dave and I presented his lesson at the Michigan Science Teachers Association’s Annual Conference. David and I continue to work together to develop educational materials through his involvement with the GK-12 program at KBS.
Megan McKenzie, National Science Foundation Research Assistantships for High School Students, Kellogg Biological Station LTER Project 2011. Megan was co-mentored by myself and another graduate student, Tomomi Suwa. Megan helped execute research for our dissertation work, as well as a research project that resulted from collaboration. We published an article about her work in the LTER Network News.
Nicole Ross, Michigan State University, Research Apprentice Summer 2011. Nicole participated in a large common garden experiment addressing the Enemy Release Hypothesis. During the summer she helped implement my experiment, and generated independent questions using the large amounts of experimental data.
Cameron Monroe, Plainwell High School, volunteer Summer 2011.
Jeremy Jubenville, Western Michigan University, National Science Foundation, REU Summer 2010. While helping with my research, Jeremy planned and executed an independent experiment addressing how early successional species respond to changing plant-soil feedbacks over the course of succession; he presented his experimental results to the KBS community at a poster session. Jeremy is currently working towards a masters in entomology at Michigan State University!