Konza Prairie LTER Featured Graduate Student

Emily Wedel is a PhD candidate in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University. Emily completed her MS in Jesse Nippert’s lab in 2019 and stayed to start a PhD in 2020. Her PhD work focuses on woody plant expansion at Konza Prairie. She measures physiological traits to differentiate the carbon and water-use strategies among the dominant encroaching shrubs.

Her research takes place in the tallgrass prairie of North America and lowveld savanna of South Africa. Emily feels grassland and savannas are unique and complex study systems in that their structure and composition are highly influenced by fire frequency and grazing by large mammals.

To learn more about Emily’s research or other ecophysiology studies at Konza Prairie you can visit her website: https://erwedel.wixsite.com/website or the KSU Ecophysiology Lab website: https://www.k-state.edu/ecophyslab/

During her time at K-State, Emily has had the opportunity to teach five different lab courses, one lecture course, and one study abroad course. She was the 2023 recipient of the K-State Division of Biology’s Michael Scott Watkins Teaching Award.

Emily’s favorite activities are traveling, snuggling with her cat, Lavender, and spending time with her friends.