Konza Prairie LTER Featured Graduate Student

Rachael is a PhD student in the Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). Rachael received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Eastern Mennonite University in 2021. There, she and her undergraduate advisor worked together to map, by city block, nitrogen emissions to find the “Nitrogen Footprint” of Harrisonburg, VA.

Rachael joined Dr. Kim Komatsu’s Community Dynamics lab at UNCG in 2022 as Dr. Komatsu’s first PhD student. At Konza, Rachael is using multiple long running LTER experiments to investigate recovery in plant communities following cessation of chronic nitrogen addition. This research is geared towards further understanding plant community response to global change drivers and the potential for grassland recovery following environmental damage.

Rachael is also passionate about including supporting new students as they enter the field of science. She has mentored five undergraduate students in scientific research and hopes to work with many more.

If you are interested in her research, you can follow Rachael on Twitter, contact her via email at rrbrenneman@uncg.edu, or visit the Komatsu Lab website.

Rachael enjoys learning new ways to perfect her sourdough bread recipe and hanging out with her cat, Poe (aka Mr. Gentleman).