Ph.D. in Plant Biology, University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in English Literature, Loyola University of New Orleans
Dr. Megan O’Connell joined the BRIT conservation research team in the spring of 2021 after receiving her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Plant Biology. Megan is broadly interested in conservation botany, ecology, pollination and plant reproduction, the health of native plant communities, and how global change will impact ecosystem services, function, and resilience.
Her research focuses on understanding how anthropogenically-induced land-use and climate change are influencing plant phenology, community composition, and spatial structure, and how these factors alter pollination services, plant reproduction, and plant genetic diversity. With her work at BRIT Megan aims to use techniques from population genetics, landscape ecology and conservation botany to pursue questions regarding best conservation practices for the maintenance of healthy native plant communities in Texas in the face of global change.
Megan is also passionate about citizen science and community-driven research, as well as science communication and media production. She is always excited to engage with researchers, community members, and artists to develop cross-disciplinary collaborations that engage broad audiences in conversations about conservation and the important roles plants play in our lives. She is also an advocate for diversity, representation, and equity in STEM and is working to develop research opportunities and programs aimed at diversifying the fields of ecology and conservation.