Heather was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and spent much of her childhood on the shores of several Texas lakes, marveling at the wonders of nature. Her love for nature grew into an appreciation for ecological processes, driving her to pursue an education in biology.
With that enthusiasm for nature she began attending the University of Texas in Arlington and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. During Heather’s undergraduate studies she was a research assistant helping with various portions of a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project on the effects of climate change in Arctic tundra ecosystems. As a part of this research project, she travelled to Alaska in 2012 to collect data for a variety of experiments, but primarily focused on her research involving the study of seed dispersal patterns, which was later published in the Journal of Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. Although Heather’s work in the tundra was mainly vegetation based, she also worked with the identification of insects for several years and enjoys the complexity of entomology.
After finishing her undergraduate degree, Heather was the recipient of a scholarship through the AUGMENTS Program and began her graduate education in Environmental and Earth Sciences. Her Master’s research project focused on restoration of native prairie ecosystems in North Central Texas, specifically looking at the outcomes of restoration practices employed on land that was previously disturbed by agriculture and surface mining. Due to this project, Heather spent countless hours in prairies developing a passion for native prairie ecosystems, the vast variety of plants that form their foundation, and the animals that inhabit them.
Heather is now a research assistant at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and is focused on the study of the ecology of native prairies and the benefits of native vegetation.