Current Position: Post-Doc (University of Illinois)
BS Wesleyan University
MS University of California, Santa Cruz (2008)
The goal of my research is to determine what limits the distribution and abundance of Cuscuta salina (salt marsh dodder) at Elkhorn Slough. C. salina is a native, parasitic plant that is often found attached to Salicornia virginica (pickleweed) in Elkhorn Sloughâ€™s salt marshes. Because C. salina does not photosynthesize, it survives by inserting plugs of tissue, called haustoria, into the host tissue and extracting water, sugars, and nutrients. The distribution of C. salina is extremely patchy and I am investigating, both experimentally and through surveys, how this distribution is related to host quality, abiotic conditions, and/or seed recruitment.