About Michelle Spicer
Michelle Spicer was in her senior year at Lehigh when she took her first ecology course with Dr. Bob Booth. In Booth's class they spent time in the Experimental Forest, and she was hooked. Spicer writes, "I literally changed my career from Chemical Engineer to Forest Ecologist after meeting the Lehigh Experimental Forest!" She went on to complete her Master's Degree at Lehigh, using the forest as the basis for studying forest growth. Now a Ph.D. student at University of Pittsburgh, she studies the same questions, but in different systems.
I just set up a big experiment down in Panama that will show how succession happens in epiphytes (plants that use other plants as substrate, like orchids and bromeliads). In western Pennsylvania, I am working on how understory plant communities recover after large disturbances in the face of logging and overabundant deer. I still love it just as much--and each question I ask leads to another waiting to pursue.
Spicer prepared a video on her work in the Experimental Forest.