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Alicia Foxx

PhD Student

Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation Northwestern University and Chicago Botanic Garden

Major adviser: Andrea Kramer, PhD

Research interests: Plant coexistence, Intraspecific variation, Phenotypic plasticity, root biology, restoration ecology

Current Research

One of the central issues facing plant community restoration in the Western United States is how to select plant material for successful establishment of native plants.

Plant restoration in the west is plagued by several issues including drought that leads to mortality; habitat disturbance that harms native plants; and competition from invasive species like cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) which forms dense lawns and promote wild fires. 

Specimen in lab setting

To assess ecological aspects of species used in restoration, my dissertation uses greenhouse and growth chamber settings to address how plant root characteristics differ based on the population that a plant comes from. Also, how competition and population source impacts plant characteristics like the shape of the root system, and how the intensity of root competition compares to shoot competition. I have also explored how plastic responses from competition between native and invasive species future competitive dynamics with plants of the same species.

The results of these studies can help inform native plant material selection from a belowground trait perspective.

Specimen in lab setting

Publications:
Peer Reviewed

Foxx, A., Barak, B., Lichtenberger, T, Richardson, L., Rodgers, and Williams, E. 2019. Evaluating the prevalence and quality of Conference Codes of Conduct. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1819409116

Hintz L., Eshleman M., Foxx A., Wood, T., and Kramer A. 2016. Population Differentiation in Early Life History Traits of Cleome lutea var. lutea in the Intermountain West. Western North American Naturalist 76(1): 6-17.    

Technical Summaries

Foxx, Alicia; Kramer, Andrea T. 2015. Propagation protocol for production of Propagules (seeds, cuttings, poles, etc.) Cleome lutea Hook. Seeds Chicago Botanic Garden - Research Glencoe, Illinois. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2017/11/09). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

Alicia presenting a poster at a conferece

Conference Presentations:

2018

Exploring the role of plastic responses in competitive intensity and coexistence;    Ecological Society of America

2017

Competitive intensity among and between seedlings: what do the roots tell? National Native Seed Conference, Washington, D.C., USA.

2016

Impact of intraspecific variation in root traits of a perennial grass on competitive outcomes. Black Graduate Student Association Conference. Chicago IL, USA.

2015

Does number of lateral roots in Elymus elymoides populations vary and influence competitive outcomes with cheatgrass? National Native Seed Conference, Santa Fe, NM, USA.

2014

Intraspecific variation in Elymus elymoides root traits and its influence on competitive outcomes; Botanical Society of America Conference. Boise, ID, USA.

 

Variation in Intraspecific Root Traits of Elymus elymoides & Implications for water stress tolerance and competition; Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program. Rio Mesa, UT, USA.

2012

The Impact of Weed Competition - Preliminary Studies. Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area Symposium. Elmhurst, Illinois.

 
Mentoring:

2018

Lake Forest College Internship mentor, (Anissa Loyola)

2018

High school science fair project mentor (Raymond Diaz)

2017

NSF REU mentor (Brooke Allen; North Central College)

 

College First program, Chicago Botanic Garden high school mentor (Giovanie Lanzo)

2016

Mentor Matching Engine. “Water pollution & plants” (Breanna Giametta)

 

Mentor Matching Engine. “Effect of ‘Mars’ Soil on Earth Crops” (Elise Miedlar)

2015

Lake Forest College Internship mentor (Siobhan Wojcik)

 

Y.O.U. Summer Science Club mentor

 

Science Club mentor

2014

NSF REU mentor, (Giselle Varrientos; University of Wisconsin, Platville)

 

NSF REU co-mentor, (Lisa Hintz; The Evergreen College)

 

Mentor to grade school student volunteer (Grace Guarraia)

2013

Lake Forest College Internship mentor (Osja Brinson)

 
Community Service & Volunteer service:

2017 & 2019

The Night Ministry toiletry kit project for homeless LGBTQ+ youth

2019

Native plant garden at McManus (Northwestern University)

2018

Evanston Scholars panel participant on graduate school

 

Purple Pantry food distribution volunteer for low income students

 

Science Festival activity lead on molecules

2017

Session moderator at the National Native Seed Conference; Washington, DC

2016

Stellar Girl Program Presentation to young girls on research

 

Invasive plant removal service project volunteer

 

STEAM designed and executed art x science activities for students

 

Volunteer tree removal, Somme Woods, Cook County Forest Preserve

 2013 & 2015

Invited outreach speaker at Elmhurst College

2015

Science Fair Judge; McCutcheon Elementary School

Seed cleaning volunteer, LaBagh Woods Forest Preserve, Cook County, IL

Invited outreach speaker at Elmhurst College 
2014 Firewise: Botany in Action brush removal, Idaho Botanic Garden
New Life for Old Bags service project plastic bags to beds for homeless
2013 World Environment Day seed and invasive species demonstration
 
Commendations, Fellowships, & Grants:

2013; 2018; 2019

Grad Housing Assistant Excellence Award; Northwestern Residence Life

2018

Plant Biology and Conservation Travel Award

2018

Elmhurst College American Dream Fellowship; Honorary Fellowship

2017

Plant Biology and Conservation Research Award

2016

Black Graduate Student Association’s 19th Annual Conference. Second place award for best poster

2014-19

Plant Biology and Conservation Fellowship

2014

Plant Biology and Conservation Travel Award

 

Plant Biology and Conservation Research Award

2012-13

Robert D. Hevey and Constance M. Filling Fellowship

2012

Inaugural James F. Berry Biology Chairperson’s Award; Elmhurst College

 

Outreach:

2016

STEAM “The importance of plant diversity” at Orrington Elementary

 

Stellar Girl Program research presentation and experiences as a scientist

2015

Y.O.U. Summer Science Club (Science in Society)

 

Science Club, Middle school student mentor (Science in Society)

 

Science Fair Judge at McCutcheon Elementary School

 

Invited speaker to high school students on college and graduate school at Elmhurst College

 

Invited outreach speaker to undergraduate students at Elmhurst College

2013

Invited outreach speaker to undergraduate students at Elmhurst College

 

Organization experience:

2017

Lead service project: Toiletry kit assembly for homeless LGBTQ+ youth; The Night Ministry

2016

Communicating Science Convention (ComSciCon) Organizing Committee

2015

Communicating Science Convention (ComSciCon) Organizing Committee; inaugural year.

2014

Lead service project: Plastic Bag collection for bed mats for the homeless; New Life for Old Bags

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