Lab Members

Principle Investigator Karin T. Burghardt

I am an ecologist broadly interested in how plant defenses shape communities and ecosystems. I've looked at this question through the lens of multiple trophic levels (plants, insects, birds, microbes) and am now working to extend this understanding to fluxes and flows of nutrients as well. I primarily work in ecosystems that are actively managed or impacted by human activity (managed forests, suburban yards, and old field habitats) and view this active management as opportunity for understanding how ecological theory can be utilized to maximize biodiversity and ecosystem processes in human-dominated landscapes.

In Fall 2018, I began building a lab as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland- College Park Department of Entomology. I am a proud alumna of the labs of Dr. Douglas Tallamy (University of Delaware Entomology and WIldlife Ecology), Dr. Os Schmitz (Yale University), and Dr. John Parker ( Smithsonian Environmental Research Center- SERC).

Contact: kburghar@umd.edu twitter: @karinburghardt address: Dept of Entomology, PLS office 4120A College Park Md 20742

 GoogleScholar , ResearchGate, or download CV

(I've got a twin sister (Dr. Liana T. Burghardt) who looks like me and works on plant life cycle evolution and microbial symbionts. If you made it this far and are you are really trying to find her try her  website  instead.)

(I've got a twin sister (Dr. Liana T. Burghardt) who looks like me and works on plant life cycle evolution and microbial symbionts. If you made it this far and are you are really trying to find her try her website instead.)

 

Faculty Assistant & Lab manager Kelsey McGurrin

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I earned my Bachelor's degree in Biology and Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences from Kansas State University in 2012. I have years of experience working as a research technician in the labs of Dr. Melinda Smith and Dr. Osvaldo Sala as well as in private greenhouses in Arizona. I joined the Burghardt Lab in February 2019. Aside from my work coordinating projects for the lab, I also help maintain and display the Entomology Department’s “Insect Zoo” for outreach events.

 

Master’s Student Max Ferlauto

I received my Bachelor's degree in Plant Ecology from Juniata College in 2019. I grew up in Arlington, Virginia so the University of Maryland is close to home. I am fascinated by how human activity affects plants and insects. I am excited to study how landowners can improve arthropod biodiversity through ecologically friendly management techniques. I am also very interested in STEM outreach and promoting science literacy. I am excited to to join the Burghardt Lab!

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Undergraduate Students

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Elizabeth Butz

I am an undergraduate here at UMD studying Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, as well as German. I joined the Burghardt Lab in May 2019, and previously was part of the FIRE program as a student in the Immunogenetics stream and a peer mentor in the Atmospheric Data Science stream. In lab, I am looking forward to studying how biodiversity is impacted by human activity. 

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Zoe Read

I am an undergraduate student at UMD studying Biology, concentrating in Ecology and Evolution. I previously helped collect data for forest ecology research in Dr. Johnson’s lab at UMD, looking at the resiliency of forests in the Delmarva region to climate change and sea level rise. This summer, I worked at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in John Parker’s Lab, researching the impacts of soybean varietal diversity on herbivory, growth, and leaf traits in soybeans. I will continue this research into the fall, where I will study these diversity effects on soybean yield and nutrients. I also helped Karin Burghardt and John Parker collect data for a soybean project at the UMD Experimental Farm Network, looking at the differences in traits between different soybean varieties. I am excited to learn more about biodiversity in managed ecosystems, and look forward to joining the Burghardt Lab.