Dr. Kimberly Komatsu (she/her) - lead investigator
Dr. Komatsu is an ecologist who investigates how community dynamics are being altered by human-caused global change in ecosystems around the world, including grasslands, forests, and agro-ecosystems. Her research focuses on plant competitive dynamics, plant-herbivore interactions, and the legume-rhizobia mutualism. She utilizes long-term experiments, observational data collection, and broad scale data synthesis to uncover the consequences of climate change, nutrient pollution, and biodiversity loss. CV Google Scholar email
Rachael Brenneman (she/her) - graduate student
Rachael is a PhD student interested in studying global change in grasslands, especially as it pertains to rangeland management and conservation. Understanding how our grasslands are changing is vital to finding the balance between conservation and proper management for grazing. email
Zachary Bunch (he/him) - graduate student
Zachary is a Master's student with broad interests within the scope of ecology. These interests include: global change ecology, biodiversity, pollinators and plant-pollinator interactions, grassland/rangeland ecosystems, insect ecology and invasive species. Zachary also has an interest in science outreach/education and believes that science dies when adequate science education dies. email
Sarah Gora (she/her) - technician
Sarah is interested in plant physiology, plant molecular biology and understanding plant trait responses to global change drivers and how this will alter large scale ecosystem services. Her master's work (completed at UNCG in Summer 2022) in the tallgrass prairie ecosystem in Kansas focused on the need for study of intraspecific trait variation in plants, particularly in belowground traits. email
Milan Toomer (she/her) - undergraduate Honors
Milan is an undergraduate student who plans to get her degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. She is a plant mom who hopes to contribute to research surrounding plants and climate change.
Special Puri (he/him) - undergraduate researcher
Hello, my name is Special Puri and I am a senior majoring in Biology at UNCG. My future goal is to become an M.D. I joined the Community Dynamics Research Group because I really enjoyed my experience in Ecology Lecture and Lab. I hope to learn a lot about biodiversity and how ecosystems are affected by global changes.
Zion York (she/her) - undergraduate researcher
I am a Biology major wanting to concentrate in Ecology. I am interested in Botany and entomology. I am joining this lab to learn and experience a new way of learning and navigating my academic career and interests.
Holly Cha (she/her) - undergraduate researcher
My name is Holly Cha, and I'm an undergraduate at UNCG. I am currently a Sophomore, and my major is Biology. My interests are aligned with the medical field, and I hope to one day attend medical school. Undergraduate research is interesting to me and something that I have wanted to be a part of, and I was lucky enough to have a chance with this lab.
Elijah Resuello (he/him) - undergraduate researcher
My name is Elijah Resuello. I am a 4th-year student pursuing a Biology degree with a minor in Chemistry. I decided to join the Community Dynamics lab to dive into more hands-on learning concerning human impact on our environment and planet. After graduating, I want to look abroad for opportunities with the experience I'll gain from this lab.
Zoe Edmonson (she/her) - undergraduate researcher
My name is Zoe Edmonson and I'm a senior at UNCG. I am a biology major with a minor in chemistry in hopes of pursuing the medical field. With this research, I hope to learn more about how to better care for our planet and the organisms living in it, in hopes to make an impact on the environment with my work in the future.
Kimberly Gonzales (she/her) - undergraduate researcher
Hello, everyone! My name is Kimberly, I am a senior majoring in biology with a minor in business. My future goals include going to Dental school. I haven’t done research of any kind, but I very much enjoy it when we do projects in any lab. That is what drew me to the community dynamics research lab because I want to learn more about what goes into research and the different dynamics that impact our ecosystem.
Past Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Technicians
Sarah Alley (beanDIP and GMDR technician)
Shelley Bennett (head technician)
Dr. Amy Hruska (post-doctoral fellow)
Dr. Tim Ohlert (graduate research fellow)
Smriti Pehim Limbu (graduate research fellow)
Alyssa Young (graduate research fellow)
Caitlyn Dittmeier (communications fellow)
Kathryn Bloodworth (graduate research fellow)
Dr. Benton Taylor (post-doctoral fellow)
Past Teacher Externs
Jessica White (South River High School)
Kimberly Cox (Baltimore County Public Schools)
Past Undergraduate Interns
Jayda Gresham (UNCG)
Wudeh Saidykhan (UNCG)
Kyla Grant (UNCG)
Nadeeah Flemming (McDaniel)
Calisa Myrie (Howard U)
Mia Gaughan (Vassar)
Annika Munson (U Chicago)
Elizabeth Blake (U Michigan)
Marcela Morassi (U Texas, Austin)
Rachael Brenneman (Eastern Mennonite)
Skye Austin (Shenandoah U)
Julia Smith (U Chicago)
Ashley Boyette (Bryn Mawr)
Alitzel Villanueva (Middlebury)
Nicole Esch (North Carolina State)
Brian Pfau (Seattle Pacific)