CLAIRE CIAFRE: GRASSLAND ECOLOGIST & RESEARCH ASSOCIATE FOR SGI
Claire grew up in Pennsylvania, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis on botany from Millersville University in 2012. The following summer she worked as a field botanist for the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP) and she was hooked. She returned to Missouri the following four summers to work as a field botanist for the Institute of Botanical Training (2013-2015) and the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (2016-2017). During this period her work was primarily in Ozark woodlands and glades, though she has worked throughout the state on various projects and in a wide array of ecosystems. She began attending Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN) in the fall of 2017 to work toward a master’s degree.
She began attending Austin Peay State University (APSU) in the fall of 2017 to work toward a master’s degree. To this end she has been researching the plant communities of depression ponds in the Eastern Highland Rim of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama that were thought to have been embedded in prairies and savannas historically. Her work will be to describe and model the communities present at these sites to further their conservation and further the knowledge of the grassland-related wetlands in this ecoregion.
As a graduate research assistant in APSU's Center of Excellence for Field Biology she is also working on a project with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to document and describe wetland plant communities throughout the state. She is a research associate for SGI and SGI's partner organization, NatureCITE (Center of Integrative Taxonomy and Ecology).