Tiffany Betras | PhD student

I began my graduate career in 2017 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Youngstown State University.  My research focuses on causes of native plant diversity declines in eastern deciduous forests including invasion by nonnative species and deer overbrowsing.  More specifically, I am investigating how nonnative invasive plant species can alter native plant communities via plant-soil feedbacks.  Plants “condition” the soil they grow in by changing microbial communities (i.e. abundances of mutualists and pathogens) and physical soil properties in such a way that subsequent plants either grow better or worse in that conditioned soil.  Additionally, I am examining how overabundant deer impact native plant abundance and diversity and shift plant community composition.  I have designed a long-term field experiment to simultaneously test how these two drivers work separately and in conjunction to change forest plant communities when both factors had a substantial presence. 

More about me:

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellow

Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award

Sigma Xi GIAR (2021)

Twitter: @tiffany_betras

Besides my passion for ecology and biology, I enjoy yoga, reading, crafting, gardening, hiking, camping, and spending time with my family.