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Carolyn Lowry

Assistant Professor of Weed Ecology and Management

Carolyn joined the Plant Science Department at Penn State in January 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Weed Ecology and Management. Carolyn’s research applies basic ecological knowledge towards improving the functioning and resilience of agroecosystems, largely focusing on managing weedy plants. Carolyn’s current research interests include investigating and predicting the effects that climate change will have on weeds and weed management; as well as understanding how root traits and belowground dynamics influence weed interference and community assembly.

Emma Rice


PhD Candidate, Ecology Program

Emma is interested in agroecology, belowground root community interactions, and agricultural sustainability. Her research is focused on cover crop and cover crop-weed belowground root functional diversity and its effects on ecosystem services.  Prior to arriving at Penn State, she worked as a Research Associate in a molecular ecology lab at Montana State University and earned a MS in biology at Grand Valley State University. Both experiences allowed Emma to investigate the efficacy of different management strategies on terrestrial and aquatic weed species. In her free time Emma likes to hang out with her cats and get outside to hike, bike, kayak, garden, and travel. 

Ashley Isaacson

Masters Student, Ag & Environmental Plant Sciences

Ashley graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2019 with a B.S. in Crop Sciences with a concentration in Agroecology. She joined the Lowry Lab in the fall of 2020 to study how elevated temperatures projected with climate change could affect weed communities in perennial forages. Additionally, Ashley is interested in developing greater scientific communication skills and learning about how farmers can adapt to a changing climate. Ashley also enjoys reading, trying new recipes, embroidery, and bird watching.

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Chris Stamplis

Chris earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and comes from a background in conservation ecology, forestry, and horticulture. He joined the Lowry lab in spring of 2020, and his research focuses on the potential of exploiting agroecosystem functional diversity and microbial interactions to interfere with weed germination in situ. Chris is broadly interested in belowground agroecology, ecosystem services from functional diversity, economic botany, underutilized species, and domestication. In his free time, Chris likes to read, spend time outdoors, travel, grow culturally significant plants, try new things, and play cards with friends.

Research Technologist
Masters Student, Ag & Environmental Plant Sciences

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