Allie, a Blandy Research Fellow, graduated in 2016 from Duke University with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Biology. Her past university lab research has explored positive marine species interactions, fish behavior in the changing habitats of Queensland, Australia, and the interplay between carbon sequestration and land use. Allie also served as a Stanback Agroecology Intern with the Union of Concerned Scientists studying the benefits of integrated crop-livestock systems and as an Intern with the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, both in Washington, DC.


Jacob earned a BS in Biology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where he also minored in African Studies. His PhD research will examine the impacts of climate change and acid deposition on forest water use efficiency in the eastern US. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Jacob managed the Nature Up North Project, an environmental education initiative based at St. Lawrence University. He has also held research technician positions with the Colorado State Forest Service, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.


Kate LeCroy received her B.S. in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL) in 2012. While at Birmingham-Southern, she studied nocturnal moth pollination networks in the ketona dolomite glades of Bibb County, Alabama under the mentorship of Dr. Pete Van Zandt. She also participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm in 2011, advised by Dr. David Carr.  After graduation from Birmingham-Southern, Kate went on to receive a M.S.


Kelcy double-majored in Biology with a concentration in conservation and Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and went on to complete a masters in coastal marine ecology and mangrove genetics with Jay Zieman and Howard Epstein at UVA. Her work focused on assessing genetic diversity in mangroves along the Gulf Coast, particularly noting range-expansion populations in comparison to historical, within-range populations, with possible future implications for habitat shifts in the black mangrove species along the Gulf.


I study supporting ecosystem services in three land-use types under different levels of human management at Blandy Experimental Farm. The purpose of my research is to analyze properties, processes, and functions of these land-use types to evaluate the relative levels of supporting services they provide. By then considering the cost of human management in each land-use type, the overall benefits of the ecosystem services can be compared to improve land-use decision-making.


A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Environmental Science, Sara is now pursuing a Masters degree focusing on oyster restoration. She is using LiDAR data to map reefs in the intertidal region of the Virginia Coast Reserve to understand reefs’ location, elevation, and correlations with the physical environment. She is also examining how to best design restored oyster reefs by investigating how reefs can both optimize habitat and shoreline protection.


Melissa received her B.S. from the College of William & Mary in Virginia in 2015. As an undergraduate, her thesis focused on how intraspecific competition and herbivory affected growth and secondary chemical defenses in common milkweed. Common milkweed serves as a significant food source for the monarch butterfly, and her research sought to delve into drivers of plant-insect interactions. In 2015 she joined the research team at Blandy Experimental Farm as a doctoral student studying ecology. Her research interests include invasion ecology and plant-insect interactions.


Jessica earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences as well as a B.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Global Environments and Sustainability from the University of Virginia. During her undergraduate career, Jessica’s research was focused broadly on the response of coastal wetlands and coastal communities to rising sea-levels. As a graduate student pursuing her M.S. in Ecology, Jessica is using Trimble GPS survey equipment and GIS data to quantify mainland salt-marsh response to sea-level rise at the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER (VCR-LTER).


Christina Fantasia earned a BS in Biology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where she concentrated in Environmental Science. She is now working toward obtaining her PhD in Environmental Sciences (Ecology) with Dr. Steve Macko, studying ocean acidification and its effects on bivalves and crustaceans.


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