My name is Gina and I will be graduating with my master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in May 2023. My research investigates the impacts of fungal pathogen spillover and forest fragmentation from coffee plantations on tree seedlings in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. I am interested in all things plants and teaching other about how our actions as humans affect the natural world around us. I received my B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey in 2020, and spent a year as a Green Iowa AmeriCorps member running community outreach events and advocating for tree replanting, before starting my graduate career.
Interested in the intersection between human agency and ecosystem functioning, I have been working to bridge the gap in ecological knowledge in society. I love being able to dive into complex ecological problems and share my insights and excitement for the field with others. Currently I am working on a blog series highlighting the social and environmental issues surrounding coffee and forests in Costa Rica, inspired by my thesis work. I have also written for The Xylom and BotanyOne, as well as worked on social media campaigns for The Greenscore podcast. In addition, I am a resident with the Stem Advocacy Institute, where I am developing an app aimed to engage kids with STEM in an informal and accessible way. I am thrilled to be launching myself into the field of science communication by working with the Los Angeles Times this summer!