Laura M. S. Hancock

PhD Candidate

B.S., Christopher Newport University, 2013

Advisor: Kristina Stinson, Jeffrey E. Podos

Research Interests

For my master's degree (which I will defend in spring 2018), I'm investigating differences in growth, demography, and population dynamics of the invasive plant garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) across three growth microhabitats. Specifically, I want to see how these differences (or lack thereof) might relate to range expansion into novel microhabitat types in its invaded range. For my PhD, I am studying foraging behavior and the landscape level movement and migration patterns of insectivorous bats in Nevada and nectarivorous bats in the southwestern United States & Mexico. 

Overall, my research varies across study systems and taxa, but has an underlying theme: management and conservation. I am passionate about research that has current, real-world applications which help to improve ecological health & public knowledge about ecological systems.


Stinson, K. A., Albertine, J. M., Hancock, L. M. S., Seidler, T. G., and Rogers, C. A. 2016. Northern ragweed ecotypes flower earlier and longer in response to elevated CO2: what are you sneezing at? Oecologia DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3670-x.

Ruane, L. G., L. M. S. Hancock, A. T. Rotzin, and C. N. Luce. 2013. Pollen viability and the potential for self-pollen interference in Phlox Hirsuta, an endangered species. International Journal of Plant Sciences 174: 1251-1258.

Hancock, L. M. S., C. L. Ernst, R. Charneskie, and L. G. Ruane. 2012. Effects of cadmium and mycorrhizal fungi on growth, fitness, and cadmium accumulation in flax (Linum usitatissimum; Linaceae). American Journal of Botany 99: 1445-1452.



Awardee, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Spring 2016

Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Spring 2015