Inspired by John Muir’s statement “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”, Nickie has studied ecology to make sense of the connections between all organisms and to predict how these may change in response to shifts in human behavior and policy.
For her Master of Science degree at California State University, Northridge, Nickie examined the mutually beneficial relationship between an invasive plant species and the Nitrogen-fixing bacteria it associates with. She performed greenhouse experiments to determine whether these bacteria could play a role in the plants’ responses to drought stress and is currently preparing a manuscript for publication with the results.
Prior to that, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Muhlenberg College. Her research there brought her from a laboratory in Allentown, Pennsylvania studying ecotoxicology to the Guanacaste province in Costa Rica, where she studied sustainable beekeeping, and lastly, to the Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia where she was immersed in studying rainforest ecology and socioeconomic values.
Sharing her joy for science and making science accessible to everyone are passions of Nickie’s. Most recently, Nickie co-founded Girls in Science and Technology, an afterschool enrichment activity aimed at improving the retention of young women studying science between middle and high school.
Nickie is excited to join the ESE program, as she believes solutions to current environmental issues must be interdisciplinary and inclusive. In this program, she aims to build upon her strong foundation in ecology to become a more effective leader and advocate for the environment.