Abigail Belvin joined Dr. Sally Entrekin’s lab as a doctoral student of aquatic entomology in Fall of 2020. Her research focuses on linking changes in biological diversity and function to best management practices in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that aim to reduce stressors like excessive nutrients, sediment and altered hydrology.
Abigail earned her Bachelor’ of Science from the College of William & Mary in May of 2020. She majored in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. She has conducted research on broad climate change topics such as carbon sequestration in coastal forest systems and greenhouse gas emissions from retention ponds. She has also completed ecological surveys on invasive plant species in riparian habitats as well as threatened Diamondback Terrapin populations in the Catlett Islands along the York River in Gloucester, VA.
Her current projects combine her experience with scientific research and policy by applying scientific practices as a method of policy evaluation. Her research will be used to assess the efficacy of current best management practices (BMP’s) by quantifying macroinvertebrate structural and functional responses across land use typologies and BMP gradients across the headwater streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. She plans to use the learning opportunities offered by the IGC to develop skills that can aid her when working together with stakeholders and landowners to improve the efficiency of current BMP’s. Additionally, a skill she hopes to obtain while working with the IGC is to further communicate science to the public, helping rural communities produce practices that help them economically with minimal negative impact on the environment.