I came to ecology as a teenager, studying birding and botany as a naturalist in suburban Dekalb County. Incidentally, one of my first jobs was working as a guide in Costa Rica, specifically at Rara Avis Rainforest Lodge on the country's Caribbean slope. Spending a year in the rainforest alongside scientists and naturalists lead me to ecological research. My work since has concentrated on several areas: vegetation (i.e., plant population and community ecology), landscape ecology, soils and ecosystem processes, and the nexus of ecology and economics. I have, for example, conducted field vegetation sampling and rare plant surveys, and I often utilize remote sensing and GIS in my work. I have worked for the National Park Service to develop vegetation monitoring protocols, and for the Georgia GAP project, an effort to map Georgia landuse and major vegetation communities in order to model vertebrate habitat.
More recently I have investigated traits that predict invasiveness and rarity in plants. And presently I am modeling habitat for several groups of rare plant species in Georgia.