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BA, Biology and Spanish, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Prior to joining The Morton Arboretum, Lane earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Virginia. During her undergraduate experience, she researched diverse topics including heliotropism in sunflowers and mating behaviors of the dark-eyed junco, a songbird. Lane’s interest in the direct application of research and technology to conservation efforts led her to her current position as a Research Assistant under Dr. Chuck Cannon, Director of the Center for Tree Science. In this versatile role, she contributes to several key projects. She is developing a series of computer simulations modeling tree reproduction and population dynamics to improve our understanding of genetic exchange between related species, especially as it relates to hybridization and diversification. She is helping establish the Tree Observatory, a small selection of closely monitored trees that will serve as a platform to observe growth and variation within individual trees in detail across daily, seasonal, and annual cycles. Finally, Lane, as the first certified drone pilot at the Arboretum, uses drone technology to construct 3D models of individual trees and survey experimental plots. She is developing additional applications of drone technology for research, including the use of multispectral sensors to gain a deeper understanding of tree physiology as a part of the Tree Observatory. By combining field methods and innovative technologies, Lane advances the understanding of both tree population dynamics and variation within individual trees to help conserve endangered tree species around the world.
As an undergraduate, Lane contributed to a variety of research programs, studying everything from zebrafish to sunflowers. She was awarded a prestigious Research Experience for Undergraduates fellowship funded by the National Science Foundation to study songbirds in southwest Virginia. Lane has presented her work at national and international conferences.