Caroline is a Lecturer in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education (COLLEGE) and a fungal ecologist by training. She was born and raised in Tennessee and completed a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee and will finish her PhD in Fall 2022 in Ecology and Evolution at Stanford University with a doctoral minor from the Graduate School of Education. Caroline’s dissertation research focused on how symbiotic relationships between plants and fungi can shape the composition and functions of forests and what these interactions can teach us about the ways our forests are changing and how to steward them. Combining field studies in Big Basin State Park, seedling experiments in the greenhouse, and sequencing work in the lab, she studied how these fungal partners can facilitate the coexistence of multiple tree species we see in coast redwood forests in the Bay area, and how changes to microbial communities might have far reaching consequences in forest composition in the long term.
Caroline was drawn to ecology as a new lens through which to see and understand the world through intentional practices of noticing and naming. In her teaching, Caroline invites students to harness their own lived experiences to investigate, question, and grow the narratives we learn and tell about humans and the natural world. She has taught introductory ecology, scientific methodology and writing on lichen community ecology at Stanford, and most recently she taught field courses in intertidal ecology and fungal ecology at Outer Coast in Sitka, Alaska. When she's not in the lab or in the classroom, Caroline is probably in the kitchen, in the ceramics studio, or outside on foot or on a bike.