Katherine Lauck is a first-year PhD student in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis. She received a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University in 2015. Between her academic pursuits she spent three years working in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, for NGOs focused on forest conservation through community engagement.
Building on her experiences in Indonesia and the communities she engaged with there, she is interested in the relationship between agriculture and adjacent tropical forests, and the role biodiversity plays in mediating their relationship under ongoing anthropogenic modification. Some large questions include: How do different monocultures compare in their relationship to forest and biodiversity? How does the scale of landscape heterogeneity relate to biodiversity maintenance? Do optima (in scale, in agricultural intensity, in crop types, in management goals) exist that maintain both human livelihoods and biodiversity?