Paul Elliott

Undergraduate Fellow


What is something you are grateful for here at Tyson?

“I don't have to explain here why this work is important. I know that I'm with people that think similarly to me, at least politically in the grand scheme, about climate change for example. I grew up in Southeast Indiana, which is red country. Back home, if I explain to them that I'm doing environmental biology and I want to go into ecology research, I have to explain why that is important. Here, it's just understood.”

If you could describe this team with one object, what would it be?

“It sounds cheesy, but a tapestry, with all of our threads weaving together. It would be a very hasty tapestry, like a cross-stitch of something dumb like a picture of Shrek, nothing serious. We're not out here talking about our hopes and dreams and feelings. We’re just making inappropriate jokes and laughing at funny numbers. But we come together to form a cohesive, dumb whole. I love it.”

What is something that your team has accomplished together?

“In the most literal sense we've censused a lot of trees. We've tagged a bunch of saplings. We've grown a lot. I personally have gotten over that I didn't like bugs that much when I got here and now I think bugs are really cool. I'm more confident in my abilities to do actual data collection, actual work. I didn't feel qualified working with this team. They've built me up. Now I feel like I am qualified to be here. I belong here and I hope that I'm helping them feel the same way.”

Paul worked with Jonathan Myers' Forest Biodiversity team during summer 2018. Learn more about their long-term temperate forest research here and their prescribed fire experiment here.