I believe the ENVIRONMENTAL problems our PLANET is currently facing need an INTEGRATED and PASSIONATE approach.
In 2015, I participated in agroforestry research at the Balkan Ecology Project in Bulgaria. The project involved rhizobia in legume root nodules and biological nitrogen fixation. This experience taught me about important mutualisms and the invaluable insight these evolutionary relationships could provide ecological restoration.
In 2016, I worked on a GIS research project that focused on old growth forests and carbon sequestration. This work was limited to online data, however, I would have loved to add field observations to support the parameter value.
I spent 2017 in Borneo assisting scientists at the Danau Girang Field Centre who are working towards the mitigation of Asian Biodiversity loss. The research at the centre aims to determine the landscape-level requirements critical for the viable persistence of tropical species in highly fragmented landscapes. While in Borneo I also had the opportunity to work alongside a rural community with the assistance of Sabah Forestry Department leading habitat restoration efforts.
Following my work in Borneo I got involved in an ongoing project funded by NSF as a part of the Climate Change and Aerosol Research team at Portland State University in the Green-roof Design and Testing Lab. My research focused on quantifying the contribution of VOC emissions from eco-roof substrate. To identify VOCs and investigate abiotic and biotic drivers I used real time detection through Proton Transfer Reaction Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry. My research contributed knowledge that can be used to improve increasingly important eco-roof functions in urban heat islands.
In 2018, I helped design an ongoing ethnographic study about the transition to agroecology in Argentina. The project sought to address the gap of knowledge in understanding how to help producers transition to agroecological practices in a country with diverse eco-regions where industrial-agriculture is dominant. At the end of the year the study was presented in the University of New Mexico’s Green Leaf Symposium which addressed rural transformation in Latin America’s changing climate.
Currently, I’m developing my skills in science communication with an Australian health and wellness company interested in the gut microbiome. My role is to communicate scientific research on the importance of gut health. I write articles, create social media content, produce videos, and design online educational courses. Ecology tells us everything is connected and from this standpoint it is clear that good health, for people and plants, depends on microbiomes. Supporting the microbial foundation in both agriculture and medicine could transform two important hallmarks of humanity!