Becky joined Jacob Barney’s Invasive Plant Ecology Lab in January 2016 as a Ph.D. student. Her primary research focus is on the intraspecific diversity and adaptability of an invasive plant species.
Becky received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Montana. During her undergraduate work, she worked in Dr. Ragan Callaway’s Plant Ecology Lab researching intraspecific diversity of both invasive and native plant species, and the effects of invasive species on native plant communities.
While working in Dr. Callaway’s lab, she completed a research project investigating the effect of the invasive plant, Centaurea stoebe, on the competitive ability of the native grass, Psuedoroegneria spicata. This work was published in Oecologia.
After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Becky spent two years in Brazil working in an ecophysiology lab at the State University of Campinas. She worked on a project investigating the ecological and physiological responses of trees to climate change, in a high elevation cloud forest.
Becky’s Ph.D. research focuses on johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), which is an incredibly damaging weed globally. Johnsongrass has shown to be very adaptable, allowing it to be successful in many different habitats and environments. She is interested in investigating some of the mechanisms that has lead to the success and adaptability of johnsongrass, and is especially interested in how johnsongrass will respond to climate change.
Becky believes that the interdisciplinary nature of the IGC Program provides her the knowledge and ability to approach research questions and future endeavors in a unique way.