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 2007, I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware in Wildlife Conservation, working in the lab of Dr. Douglas Tallamy for my senior thesis work and then as lab manager. In 2016 I defended my dissertation work in the ecology and evolution department at Yale University in the wonderful lab of Dr. Os Schmitz. From 2016-2018 I completed a Smithson postdoc working with Dr. John Parker at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).
In Fall 2018, I am began building a lab as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland- College Park Department of Entomology. I will be recruiting a postdoc, tech, and graduate students so feel feel free to check out the join us (really just me at the moment) page or contact me if you want to learn more about the lab (and make this page multiple people!).
Contact me at: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(I've got a twin sister (Dr. Liana T. Burghardt) who works on plant life cycle evolution and microbial symbionts. If you made it this far and are you are really trying to find her instead of me check out her website.)