Louise is gearing up for her first field season in ZA, where she will be working with Steve Johnson to start field experiments testing hypotheses of local adaptation in Zaluzianskia microsiphon.
Raised in Georgia, Louise has spent the majority of her life outside, barefooted, and in constant explore mode. After receiving her Bachelors in psychology from the College of Charleston, she went on to pursue her passion for botany and completed a BS in evolutionary biology at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. While there, she became enamored with botanical research and worked on numerous projects- including a population demographic and genetic study on American ginseng. After graduating, she began working at Archbold Biological Station, where she completed a project studying the breeding system and fire dynamics of a FL endemic pawpaw species (Asimina reticulata). Over the past two summers, she has also assisted in research with the Blue Ridge Parkway, using repelling equipment to survey the endangered cliff dwelling Appalachian Avens. For her masters, she will be studying potential altitudinal clines in the floral evolution of Zaluzianskia microsiphon, an herb endemic to South Africa. Specifically, examining how altitude may effect the interactions of this plant with its’ long proboscid fly pollinator (Proseca granglbaurai). Louise is also a primitive skills enthusiast and enjoys wild foraging, carving spoons, tanning/working leather, and fermentation projects of various sorts.