Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Katherine Roger L&S Sciences

Relative impacts of ecological and evolutionary feedbacks on tripartite Lepidoptera community structure

My research aims to understand the impact of invasive plant species on multi-level ecological relationships i.e. how do (or dont) invasive plants change the relational landscape of a region? To address this question, Ill be looking at the tripartite relationships between 1) native and non-native plant species, 2) butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), and 3) the microbiota that live within butterfly and moth guts. Each of these relationships has coevolved through time, and I am curious to see how changing species assemblages impact not just individuals, but the tightly woven networks they are part of. My field research will take place in Point Reyes, CA, a landscape that is very dear to my heart. During my research process, I aim to think critically about what it means to work with native landscapes as a settler in the United States. I hope to collaborate with the Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo (now FIGR) peoples of the Point Reyes region to imagine how my scientific research might support local conservation efforts through indigenous leadership.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do field work this summer! It has been such a gift to be able to develop and manifest a project of my own creation, and to know a landscape I love so much more intimately. This opportunity has also helped so much in my movement toward graduate school, both in refining what I want to study, and in discovering potential research supervisors (and, of course, in making me a more compelling applicant!). It has been such a joy to be a recipient of this amazing resource.
Profile image of Katherine Roger
Major: Earth System Science (Physical Geography)
Mentor: Rosemary Gillespie
Sponsor: Leadership Fund
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