Elan Simon Parsons


Cocoa, Florida


B.S. Wildlife Ecology (UF '14)


Deforestation and fragmentation effects on understory plants in the Brazilian Amazon, science communication


Since graduating in 2014, I've worked as a botanist with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to conduct plant monitoring and surveys in the Southeastern US, data that will be available for public use. I'm also a lifelong artist, beginning my work as a botanical illustrator in 2015 and collaborating with UF Biology graduate students resulting in at least two publications. While still an undergraduate, I was struck with how poorly science was communicated to audiences outside academia, and I seek to be part of the charge toward a more interactive relationship between science/scientists and citizenry. Those relationships are very much needed to help us all make sense of how global change is impacting our communities and natural resources. The tropics are home to some of the most diverse assemblages of creatures and flora in the world, and I'm inspired to help conserve them, understand them better, and convey their importance to the next generation.