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Dr. Becky Fletcher

PHD FELLOW ALUMNI   |   Global Change Center

VT Alumni September 2019, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Advisor: Dr. Jacob Barney


Becky joined Jacob Barney’s Invasive Plant Ecology Lab in January 2016 as a Ph.D. student. Her primary research focused on the intraspecific diversity and adaptability of an invasive plant species.  Becky completed her dissertation in 2019 and is now a Scientist with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Becky received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Montana. During her undergraduate work, she worked in Dr. Ragan Callaway’s Plant Ecology Lab researching intraspecific diversity of both invasive and native plant species, and the effects of invasive species on native plant communities. While working in Dr. Callaway’s lab, she completed a research project investigating the effect of the invasive plant, Centaurea stoebe, on the competitive ability of the native grass, Psuedoroegneria spicata. This work was published in Oecologia.

After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Becky spent two years in Brazil working in an ecophysiology lab at the State University of Campinas. She worked on a project investigating the ecological and physiological responses of trees to climate change, in a high elevation cloud forest.

Becky’s Ph.D. research focused on johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), which is an incredibly damaging weed globally. Johnsongrass has shown to be very adaptable, allowing it to be successful in many different habitats and environments. She investigated some of the mechanisms that led to the success and adaptability of johnsongrass, and is especially interested in how johnsongrass responds to climate change.

Last updated June 2022.