Senior Sustainability Fellow, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
- Senior Sustainability Fellow, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
Kelly held a NatureNet Science Fellowship from 2016 to 2018. As a fellow, she worked with the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and The Nature Conservancy California to investigate strategies through which climate change mitigation programs on working lands can deliver multiple benefits, including biodiversity conservation and food production.
Benefitting from the diversity of expertise within CBO, the research capabilities of ASU and the multidisciplinary teams at TNC, Kelly employed a variety of techniques to address this question, including meta-analysis, greenhouse and lab analyses and landowner surveys.
Currently, she is an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US EPA in Washington, DC, where she draws on the skills she developed as a fellow to contribute to national water quality policy.
Prior to the fellowship, Kelly worked on a variety of applied community and ecosystem ecology issues, including rare plant population genetics, the dynamics of plant invasions and methods for estimating plant species’ vulnerability to climate change. Her dissertation explored whether concepts from plant ecology can help us understand how soil microbial communities - and the ecosystem services they provide - will respond to environmental and management changes. For this work, she studied changes in precipitation patterns in California grasslands and changes in nutrient management practices in annual row crop fields.
Kelly also had previous experience in the non-profit and government sectors, having worked as a Research Botanist for NatureServe and as a biologist at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Her interest in the use of science in policy was sparked as a UC Davis Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service Fellow at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she worked on an incentives program for farmers and ranchers to improve soil health.