Jesse obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is currently finishing his Masters thesis at Middle Tennessee State University, focusing on comparative plastomics of Liquidambar (sweetgum) and how marker choice affects phylogeographic inference. Jesse has broad interests in floristics, biogeography, and genome evolution. He joined the Smith lab in the fall of 2018 to investigate systematics and the evolution of flower color in Clematis (Ranunculaceae).
Seth is a current Master’s student in the Museum and Field Studies program and a graduate assistant in the COLO Herbarium. Before moving to Colorado, he earned two Bachelor degrees in Plant Biology and Environmental Science with a minor in Applied Ecology from North Carolina State University. His undergraduate research took him to the Cerrado of Brazil where he studied above-ground carbon allocation in resprouting plants of different growth forms to determine if fire-defense strategies affect competitiveness in a fire suppressed system. After graduating Seth moved to Florida where he studied regional plant and lichen diversity, fire ecology, and rare plant demography as an ecological contractor. He is currently interested in Colorado lichen diversity and tackling the taxonomic discrepancies in the region. In his free time, Seth loves being in the backcountry looking for rocks to climb and natural experiences to encounter
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania where I would often explore the gorgeous North Eastern forests with friends and family. Over the years, my interests evolved as I continued exploring the natural world through teaching outdoor education and studying plant ecology. Today, I am broadly interested in plant evolutionary ecology and biogeography. I wonder why plants have certain characteristics and ask which characteristics drive plant distributions over time through changing climates to ultimately shape the plant communities we interact with today. Outside the lab, I am interested in all things outdoors. I rock climb, white water kayak, and mountain bike. Sometimes, I also run really long distances for fun. I aspire to lead a balanced, happy life outside and hopefully inspire others to do the same through teaching and researching ecology.
Classifying worldwide Acanthaceae
Erin and co-authors submit a major manuscript that revises the classification of worldwide Acanthaceae, which includes the first ever global dichotomous keys to the genera
Herbarium Training Course
Erin and 30 colleagues from herbaria around the world launch initial stages of the first ever formal Herbarium Training Course
GSMNP – Upcoming Field Work
Angie finalizes plans for fieldwork in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this upcoming summer to observe and isolate microinvertebrate fauna from lichens. Looking forward to collaborating with Park Education Branch Chief, Susan Sachs, to create protocols for lichen-oriented citizen science in the Park!
Jessica Persinger hired as a researcher to spearhead remaining genomic work on NSF Dimensions Southern Appalachian Lichens project!
Skylar is a current PhD student studying tropical plant phenology. Skylar got their undergraduate degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from both Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Central Michigan University, and spent a lot of time in the forests of Western Massachusetts, which helped inspire their love of plants. Skylar is also interested in herbarium collections and advocating for increased support for herbarium based research. Skylar is an advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and has worked with, and is a part of many communities including the LGBTQ+ community and the Indigenous community. Skylar hopes to advocate for more diversity in STEM and in EBIO in particular.
Angie is a current Master’s student in the Museum and Field Studies program and a graduate assistant in the COLO Herbarium. Before moving to Colorado, she earned her undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida where she spent a lot of time hanging out in various swamps. Angie is particularly interested in the community ecology within the lichen microbiome! For her Master’s thesis, Angie is investigating the associations between micro-invertebrates and lichen species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She is also looking forward to honing her herbaria curatorial skillset. In her spare time, Angie likes to garden, hike and continue to learn about the natural world!
Lichenology teaching videos
Carly and Erin travel by small plane to prepare series of field lichenology teaching videos, in effort to rapid-fire design a new lab manual for a former field course now moved fully online (thanks, Covid). Success!
See our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAI8L-EGLN7-W1IJmcALoZA/videos