Alicia Foxx PhD Student

Major adviser: Andrea Kramer, PhD

Research Interests: Restoration ecology, root biology, community assembly

Current Research

One of the central issues facing plant and animal communities in the Western United States is how to restore native plant habitats that have been converted to invasive plant dominated habitats that provide little ecological benefit.

Unfortunately, plant restoration efforts in this region fail to reach the goals of rehabilitating native communities and regaining ecological functions. This is due in large part to the hold on space and resources that invasive plants have in these habitats, but ridding this region of invasive plants is an impossible task. Exploring how the native plants we use in restoration can first come to establish in these harsh sites, and then second, come to coexist with invasive plants, is integral to understanding how we can reach these goals.

Given that plants in arid regions interact primarily belowground, I am exploring how mechanism of competition at the root interface between native and invasive plants impact coexistence, and how the shape, size, and surface features of roots of native plants coupled with community assembly frameworks impact establishment with invasive plants. This will likely shed light on traits that are important to seek in native plant material for improved restoration outcomes such as re-establishing beneficial native plant communities.

Honors and Awards

  • 2014-2020 Plant Biology and Conservation Fellowship
  • 2014 PBC Travel Award
  • 2013 Plant Biology and Conservation (PBC) Research Award
  • 2012 Robert D. Hevey and Constance M. Filling Fellowship

Conferences and Presentations

  • 2015: Poster Presentation, National Native Seed Conference, Santa Fe, NM.
  • 2014: Oral Presentation, Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program, Moab, UT.
  • 2014: Oral Presentation, Master’s Thesis Seminar, Glencoe, IL.
  • 2014: Oral Presentation, Botanical Society of America Conference. Boise, ID.