Investigating the evolutionary ecology of plant interactions
We study plant interactions with other organisms, including insect herbivores, microbial symbionts, seed-dispersing bats, and more. Much of our work focuses on the fundamental role of phytochemicals in shaping how plants defend themselves against antagonists and attract effective mutualists. Our research is grounded in field-based studies that range from tropical forests to temperate agroecosystems, and we integrate field work with diverse approaches including analytical chemistry, greenhouse experiments, laboratory bioassays, behavioral experiments with animals, and a diversity of quantitative methods.
We value a lab culture that is emotionally supportive, inclusive, and respectful of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We strive for each lab member, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, political affiliation, or religion to be comfortable in our group as their authentic self.We are united in support of the VT Principles of Community, which state:
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:
We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.
We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.
We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.
We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.
We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).