Howdy, I’m Christine O’Connell, a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. I am also a research fellow with the Global Landscape Initiative at UMN’s Institute on the Environment. Life as an ecologist is awesome.
I use ecosystem ecology to explore the environmental impacts of changing land use in the tropics. More specifically, my dissertation investigates the effects of increased agricultural production on the Amazon’s contribution to global climate, biodiversity and nitrogen cycling, using a combination of statistical modeling and field work in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
In my spare time, I like to do things outside like hike, ride bicycles, sing too loud, or eat ice cream. On the blog portion of this site, I primarily write about my experiences in the field, but I also sometimes post about the enthusiasm I have for ecology, the environment and science generally, or other things that I find rad (see: dinos).
I received a B.S. from Stanford University in Earth Systems with a focus in Biology and, prior to returning to graduate school, spent several years teaching high school biology in an urban charter school in Brooklyn, N.Y. as a Teach For America corps member.