Say hello to new student Rachel

Justin C. Bagley
06 January 2022

Today, I am very pleased to welcome Rachel Bonner to the Bagley Lab. Welcome Rachel!

Rachel is a junior here at JSU and is from Southside, AL. She was one of the nicest, smartest, most committed students in my Ecology course this past Fall semester, which had a CURE laboratory focused on ecological niche modeling (ENM) of Alabama’s coastal dune plant species.

Rachel’s ENM work over the past several months has focused on a perennial creeping plant from Araliaceae, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, which is found in both the foredune and backdune zones and has been shown to be locally adapted. This species is found along coastlines worldwide, including those of our focus area: the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Rachel and other students working with me showed that ENMs predict that suitable habitat for this species is expected to decline precipitously over the next 50 years (by 2070), and our results for H. bonariensis appear to be generalizable to the foredune plant community.

Rachel will be traveling with me to the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in New York City in February to presenting the results of her work on Hydrocotyle. We are so proud of her!

It is so great to have Rachel continuing her journey as a scientist in my lab.