Growing up in Puerto Rico and later New England, I grew an appreciation for the outdoor environment. This inspired me to pursue a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability with a focus in Forest Ecology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and a minor in Forestry. At UNH I held numerous research positions, but I worked mainly at the Terrestrial Ecosystems Analysis Lab (TEAL) under the supervision of Andrew Ouimette. At TEAL we conducted research on forest ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics, with emphasis on the effects of atmospheric deposition, air pollution and climate change. I managed numerous projects measuring leaf C, root C, soil C, LAI, and fungal C, but primarily worked on an independent project funded by a McNair Fellowship to understand the allocation of C to mycorrhizae, and mycorrhizal biomass on a tree species and nitrogen availability gradient in a northeastern temperate forest. At Stanford University I will continue to strengthen my understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle, by deepening our knowledge of rooting growth, and studying how vegetation cover type is affected by different climatic factors such as drought.

Please visit my personal site at to learn more about my research, education, and community engagement:

Honors & Awards

  • Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, The National Academies of Science, Engineering, Medicine (2017-)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), National Science Foundation (NSF) (2017-)
  • EDGE Doctoral Fellow, Vice Provost for Graduate Education- Stanford (2015)
  • Udall Fellowship, Udall Foundation (2014)
  • Stanford Surge Fellowship, Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (2014)
  • Charles F. Marble Fellowship, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture- University of New Hampshire (2013 & 2014)
  • Presidential Honor Scholar, University of New Hampshire (2015)
  • McNair Scholars Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education (2013-2015)

Education & Certifications

  • M.S., Stanford University, Earth System Science (2019)
  • B.S., University of New Hampshire, Environmental Conservation and Sustainability-Forest Ecology Focus (2015)

Lab Affiliations

Work Experience

  • Researcher, University of New Hampshire-Earth Systems Research Center (1/2012 - 6/2015)

    Collected roots and soils at different depths from sites varying in nitrogen availability and tree species composition at the Bartlett Experimental Forest, identified the tree species of the roots, and used stable isotopes to look at the difference in the isotopes of the roots and the soils in order to measure carbon allocation to mycorrhizal fungi as root depth increased.
    Created a system of 100 meter sampling grids at the Bartlett Experimental Forest and compared different methods of calculating Leaf Area Index (camera point, hemiview and LAI 200) in order to compare the methods with each other and to find correlations with fly over Lidar data.
    Installed a system of open and closed fungal ingrowth cores at sites varying in nitrogen availability and tree species composition at Bartlett Experimental Forest, in order to measure ergosterol ( a biomarker used to estimate fungal biomass and is the fungal equivalent to cholesterol in humans). The system of open and closed cores allows for the estimation of mycorrhizal biomass while accounting for saprotrophic fungal biomass.
    Installed mycorrhizal ingrowth sandbags at the same sites above at different depths in order to solve for unknown variables in the isotope equations from the literature. The equations are used to solve for carbon allocation to fungi, and the variables will be found by measuring the isotopes of fungal hyphae using Mass Spec analysis (in process).
    Managed the installation of a network of root ingrowth cores at fifteen sites in the Bartlett Experimental Forest which will be used to find the amount of root ingrowth and root carbon allocation in a full season in order to better understand the total belowground carbon allocation of northeast temperate forests.


    Durham, NH

  • Invasive Species Intern, The Nature Conservancy (4/2014 - 10/2014)


    Newmarket, NH

  • Summer Research Fellow, Stanford University (6/2014 - 9/2014)

    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow under the SURGE program in the School of Earth Sciences. Studying the effects that increased atmospheric hydrogen will have on carbon processes and soil microbial activity. Specifically working in the Welander lab, under the supervision of Laura Meredith, to study the effects that Streptomyces have on carbon mineralization and lignin degradation due to added atmospheric hydrogen.


    Stanford, CA

  • Research Technician, UNH Stable Isotope Laboratory (1/2012 - 7/2013)

    Weighed and ran samples from several agencies and different research scientist for carbon and nitrogen isotope concentrations. Managed and ran maintenance on an Elemental Analyzer and Mass Spec instruments, and analyzed and prepared the output data.


    Durham, NH

  • Lab Research Technician, NREN, University of New Hampshire (8/2011 - 12/2011)

    As a technician I worked in the field to build enclosures to serve as salamander habitat. Inside these enclosures leaf litter was added in order to measure the impact that salamanders would have on the decomposition of leaf litter.


    Madbury, NH

All Publications

  • Fast plants in deep water: introducing the whole-soil column perspective. The New phytologist Tumber-Davila, S. J., Malhotra, A. 2020; 225 (1): 7–9

    View details for DOI 10.1111/nph.16302

    View details for PubMedID 31788820