Invasive species management
Invasive plant species threaten our native ecosystems by altering the fire regime, reducing biodiversity, and out-competing native plants.
In the Sonoran Desert, buffelgrass is one of the most prevalent invasive plants. Buffelgrass burns at extremely high temperatures, permanently damaging native Sonoran plants, including our signature giant saguaro cacti. Check out the Gornish Lab's research on buffelgrass!
Installing rock structures is a low-cost way to reduce erosion and topsoil loss on southern Arizona rangelands. I work with the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance to test how effective these rock structures are at increasing vegetation, including the analysis of a ten-year vegetation monitoring study.
Arizona is a major producer of copper, an imperative metal used to build electronics, cars, housing and buildings, medical instruments, and many more items we use constantly in our everyday lives. I worked as a researcher for the UArizona Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining studying waste rock revegetation, an integral part of the mine reclamation process. I have presented my research at national conferences, including annual meetings for Soil Science Society of America, American Society for Microbiology, and the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. Check out my interview for KXCI Thesis Thursday!