I am originally from Enola, PA (which is right outside of Harrisburg - the capitol of Pennsylvania). I have always enjoyed being outside and gardening. After high school I attended Harrisburg Area Community College where I majored in Environmental Science. I transferred to Penn State, and I changed my major to Soil Science after taking an introductory course in the subject. There is much more to soils than one can imagine! While at Penn State I participated in some undergraduate research focusing on corn and soil nitrogen. I decided that plant and soil interactions were what interested me the most. So, I decided to extend my stay at Penn State and also major in Agronomy (crop science).
After graduating from Penn State I found myself at West Virginia University working on my M.S in Agronomy. My research focus was on pasture management, fertility and root growth. I looked at the effects of nitrogen fertilization on Kentucky bluegrass and white clover native pasture productivity and root growth. I guess you could say I watched grass grow!
Upon graduating from WVU I move to Gainesville, FL to work on my Ph.D. in Soil and Water Science at the University of Florida. My research at UF was on arsenic hyperaccumulation of Chinese brake fern (Pteris vittata L.) and its potential for phytoremediation of arsenic-contaminated soils. Chinese brake fern was the first arsenic-hyperaccumulating plant discovered. My research looked at the efficacy of using this fern to clean up sites that have been contaminated by arsenic. I also conducted research on the physiology of the fern (mainly how it transports arsenic and how certain enzymes respond). I stayed at UF for a few months after graduation and worked as a Post Doctoral Research Scientist. I continued my work on the Chinese brake fern and conducted research on the expression of Arr4 gene in order understand its role in arsenic stress tolerance.
I left UF to teach at Dalton State in 2005. Since I have been at Dalton State I have enjoyed being able to teach Environmental Studies, Principles of Biology, Botany (for non-majors) and Plant Biology (for science majors). I am currently looking for opportunities to engage undergraduate students in research at Dalton State.
Outside of Dalton State my husband, Ken, and I have two beautiful sons and a great dog that keep us quite busy!