I was raised in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and at a young age developed a love for nature. Living in such proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, I grew quite fond of hiking and found myself exploring the mountain side with much of my free time; through this, I developed an interest in conservation and environmental science. Currently, I am a candidate for BS in Biology at Marshall University. My research here includes studying the effects of prescribed fire on plant regeneration in the Wayne National Forest. Some of my interests away from natural science are soccer, hiking, writing, and art. 

Contact Information:


Maggie England, MS Student
Kyle A. Palmquist, Principal Investigator
Khyla Johnson, BS Student
I was raised in the sagebrush steppes of southeast Idaho and spent my childhood summers exploring the vast shrublands with mountains in every direction. Wonder at the natural beauty that surrounded me quickly grew into a passion for natural science and conservation. With my sights set on a career in science, I completed my Bachelor of Science in zoology with a minor in physical geography and GIS at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. Through my education, my love for all things science sharpened into an interest in spatial ecology and statistical modeling. My research is focused on using statistical models to understand how sagebrush steppes will change over space and time in the way of fire and invasive cheatgrass, as a result of global climate change. I hope to continue this avenue of research beyond my master’s degree into a PhD and a career as a scientist. When not doing science I enjoy riding horses, exploring nature, traveling, computer gaming, and reading.  


Kyle is a plant ecologist interested in the ecological processes that influence and maintain plant biodiversity. She is particularly interested in asking ecological questions over large spatial scales, ultimately to inform landscape conservation.

Kyle received her BS in Biology and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and her PhD in Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Department of Biological Sciences at Marshall University in January 2019, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wyoming working jointing with William Lauenroth and John Bradford. Besides thinking about plants and climate change, Kyle enjoys running, hiking, cross-country skiing, traveling, and cooking.


Plant Ecology at Marshall University​

Bekah Shupe, MS Student
For my undergraduate education, I attended Radford University in Radford, VA which is near my home in Pulaski, VA. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains I have always had an appreciation for the forests near my home. This appreciation has fueled my interest in the oak forests that dominate the Appalachian Mountains. At Marshall University, my research is in how fire effects the regeneration of oaks along a soil moisture gradient in the Wayne National Forest.