University of Wisconsin–Madison

Welcome Aboard: New Members to the Grasslands Team!

The grazing public grasslands team would like to extend a warm welcome to two new members of our team: Alden Dirks and Laura Judge!

Alden is a graduate student who has a strong interest in studying agriculturally beneficial fungi. Working alongside Dr. Randy Jackson, Alden is exploring the impacts of grazing on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and the trophic interactions between grazer, plant and fungi. When he’s not in the lab, he enjoys foraging, extreme cooking, and ceramics.

Laura collecting wild blueberries on a backpacking trip to Isle Royale this past August, 2017

Laura is also a graduate student who is eager to learn about how agricultural land can be managed to provide benefits to both ecosystem services and agricultural production. Working alongside Dr. Mark Renz, she is monitoring the quantity and quality of rotationally-grazed forage areas and changes in plant communities. Outside of the project, Lauren enjoys outdoor activities like backpacking and camping, as well as relaxing activities like yoga and meditation.

Welcome aboard!

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