Summary

Currently (July 2022 – June 2023), I am delighted to be a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio (US), where I am teaching mycology (field- and quantitative-based) and general biology lectures &/or labs.

I focus on quantitative ecology, i.e., data and analytics, in order to investigate terrestrial ecology in the context of global change (atmospheric chemistry, climate change, land-use change and pollution). This is inclusive of community, species-specific, diversity and phenology patterns, because they demonstrate processes (i.e., behaviors) occurring within an organism, that are patterned across spatiotemporal scales, and are perturbed by global change. We need to understand where organisms are, and what they do in terms of ecological and evolutionary principles, to then go about sustaining their futures alongside other organisms in a given natural environment.

Fungi are the primary microbial group I tend to research, and I am a botanist as well. Fungi are fascinating and complex organisms. They conduct fundamental processes in carbon and nutrient cycling, related to decomposition, and nearly all plants are in a form of symbiosis with them, not to mention the many interactions with humans, whether pathogens, sources of nutrition, or in managed systems such as the agricultural and forestry services. Fungi can be challenging to understand, but are crucial for the health and functioning of natural and urban systems!

Ultimately (and most broadly), I am a terrestrial ecologist, therefore interested in all components of biology, environmental science and natural history.

Outside of research and “the jobs”, I think often, and sometimes write about, other inter-related aspects between the natural world and societies – especially related to history, STE(A)M and diversity. I am interested in non-traditional educational writing, such as through online blog-type platforms, as ways to garner interest from otherwise under-represented groups in science and academia, and to explore tricky topics most often not addressed in purely academic situations. I also try to sprinkle in some thoughts and writings of less challenging topics, to keep an element of fun and interest beyond the other more serious topics.

My career path has been a bit “non-traditional” in that I started immediately and primarily with university teaching (2009 – 2013) after my PhD (2005 – 2009), and followed that with the more standard post-doctoral research path that, especially in Europe, continues as a fixed-term researcher during career development (2013 – 2021). I returned to the States early in 2021 (covid impact statement). I am still part of the “gig economy,” if one will consider there exists such at thing in academia and research; sometimes I contribute to research initiatives, and other times I am involved in teaching.

I am seeking more stable employment opportunities alongside professional career development! 🙂

Research topics 

Global change (climate, nitrogen, CO2, O3, teaching)

Ecology (conservation, community, ecosystems, invasion, landscape, macro-, phenology, teaching)

Data science & analytics (obtaining, wrangling (formatting & processing), managing, and analysing data)

Mycology (conservation, ecology, global change, identification (mushrooms, root tips, molecular), invasion, fungaria, mycorrhizae, teaching, wood-decay)

Observational data (citizen (= community) science, herbarium/fungaria collections, meta-databases, open-access)

R (for data wrangling, statistical analyses, scripting, teaching)

Statistical analyses (distributional modelling, experimental design, multivariate analyses, mixed effects models, projections, regression techniques, spatial analyses)

Molecular data & processing (DNA extraction, High Throughput Sequencing, Sanger sequencing and (T)RFLP)

Field work (arboretum, experimental design, global change, natural lands, productivity, respiration, restoration)

 


Photo credit of CA: Evia photos
Other photos: CA