Emily K Zimmerman

Graduate Research Assistant
Photograph of Emily Zimmerman

Background: I received my B.S. in Biology and Global Resource Systems from Iowa State University in 2011 and my M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan in 2013.  As an undergraduate, I balanced my two majors by doing research in community ecology, specifically on biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, and in food systems, specifically on the evolution of human diets and the role of crop diversity.  Spurred by my interest in biodiversity, my M.S. research focused on assessing the qualitative and quantitative relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function in natural, heterogeneous ecosystems across large spatial scales. 
Research interests: My current research interests are focused at the intersection of conservation and the production of food, fuel and fiber.  Broadly, I am curious about the relationship between agricultural landscapes and the natural environment.  More specifically, I am interested in a landscape-level, systems approach to quantitatively and qualitatively understanding the relationship between land use and ecosystem services in multifunctional agricultural landscapes.  In addition to understanding the biophysical science, I also hope to understand how ecosystem services in multifunctional agricultural landscapes can be valued through a social and economic framework to engage stakeholders and encourage effective conservation practices.   I will be working on a project that seeks to develop a Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme for the Big Creek Watershed in central Iowa.  
Personal Interests:  I am most at home outside; I enjoy many outdoor activities – kayaking, hiking, yoga, biking, skiing, but my favorite pastime is running.  I like to travel, particularly to places with delicious food and good beer.   I also spend a fair amount of time reading and drinking coffee, cooking, and refurbishing old furniture. 

Area of Expertise: 
B.S., Biology, Iowa State University, 2011
B.S., Global Resource Systems, 2011
M.S., Natural Resources, University of Michigan, 2013
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