Amber graduated from UF with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in 2008. After working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Upland Habitat Research and Monitoring Program for nearly seven years she returned to UF to pursue a Master of Science degree in Environmental Horticulture in 2015. Amber’s research interests are centered on native plant conservation and restoration. Her current research focuses on the seed biology and germination ecology of Harperocallis flava, a federally endangered species that is endemic to the central panhandle of Florida. By employing both lab and field based approaches, she hopes to answer questions regarding seed dormancy, viability, germination timing, and seed banking potential of this rare species.
Nicholas obtained a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida. Nicholas’ background in biology is a driving force behind his motivation to ask basic scientific questions that address current research gaps in seed biology. One such gap is the potential for a within-species mass-based aging response in seeds. Nicholas’ Ph.D. research focuses on how intraspecific seed mass variation modulates in situ and ex situ seed deterioration. Nicholas’ work has implications for understanding how seed mass contributes to microevolution in plants and viability loss in long-term storage. Nicholas hopes to work in some capacity to conserve resources and biodiversity by advancing mankind’s scientific understanding of the natural world.
Andres earned an Agricultural Sciences bachelor’s degree from Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador) in 2012. Andres then worked as a researcher at Centro de Investigaciones del Biotecnológicas del Ecuador (CIBE). At CIBE Andres worked on project related to cocoa, coffee and rice. He also collaborated on projects investigating the influence of organic fertilizers on crop production and entomology. Andres worked as a visiting scientist in the Seed Lab during the fall of 2015 and began as a Master’s student in the fall of 2016. Ecuador is a biodiverse country but also faces challenges related to conservation of native flora. Andres is interested in learning more about the intersection of seed biology and endangered plant conservation so that he can become a leader in this field in Ecuador.
Tia is a Florida native who earned her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from The Evergreen State College. Following her undergraduate degree, she gained a diversity of work experience in both the non-profit sector and horticultural businesses. She returned to Florida to complete a M.S. in Environmental Horticulture, and is currently working toward her Ph. D. Her research interests focus on quantifying variability of seed quality to highlight its role in efficient seed use.