UNCG doctoral student Angela Larsen looks at how individual behaviors of cotton rats create population level impacts and change community structures. By observing the rodents, which are native to the Southeastern United States, Larsen is also assessing how planting of native switchgrasses as biofuel crops might affect biodiversity. Larsen’s research is funded in part by NCASI and Weyerhaeuser. She is also an EPA STAR Fellow and has received a Robert R. Bryden Grant from the NC Academy of Science.
She came to UNCG specifically to work with Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell, professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Biology. Kalcounis-Rüppell is widely known for her acoustic field research on bats and rodents. Larsen was also drawn to UNCG because it is one of the few universities offering a dissertation minor in statistics for students pursuing PhDs in science. Having that minor will give her a leg up later in her career. The video is a UNCG Undergraduate Student Production. See more at http://research.uncg.edu/spotlight/why-uncg/ and at http://research.uncg.edu/spotlight/cotton-rats-switchgrass-and-phd-student-angela-larsen/.