Daniel S. Park Ph.D.

Plant Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity in the Anthropocene


About us


Daniel S. Park Ph.D.

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University. I study how the evolutionary history of species influences, and is influenced by, their ecological interactions. My research focuses on elucidating biogeographic and evolutionary mechanisms of biodiversity patterns in the context of contemporary global environmental problems, notably biological invasions and climate change, with the aim of illuminating how these disturbances affect plant diversity across rapidly changing landscapes. Drawing on the fields of biogeography, systematics, ecology, and evolution, and using big data, my work explores multiple facets of past, present, and future biodiversity to address the grand challenge of mitigating anthropogenic influence on the world’s ecosystems. 

I am partial to plants in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, but during my journey as a naturalist and scientist I have worked with everything from lemurs in Madagascar to giant knotweed on volcanic islands. My research combines fieldwork, labwork, informatics, and simulation approaches across diverse scales and systems, both empirical and theoretical.

Curriculum Vitae

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Haley Flickinger

I am a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Purdue University. I received my B.S. from the University of Kansas in 2018. I study how human-caused changes to our environment, such as plant invasions and climate change, impact the interactions between plants and insects at an ecosystem level. I enjoy field work and tend towards observational studies over experimental studies as a way to examine the full breadth of complexity present in the natural world. Whenever possible I also try to make use of the data and specimens that have been collected through history as there is great value in the knowledge we can gain from studying our ecological past. While I will always feel most at home in the wide-open Kansas prairie, I am forever amazed by the way the environmental variation of the world is reflected in the diversity of plants.


Jaein Choi

I'm interested in using plants as an indicator to assess biodiversity and ecosystem change caused by climate change and anthropogenic activities. I like to play electronic bass and piano, take walks, play badminton and read. Also, I love traveling to places with beautiful nature.

Chingyan Helen Huang

I am an undergraduate majoring in Biology, though I am leaning towards a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology. One of my most prominent interests is how the behavior of plants changes under stress. I love the great outdoors and often go out for walks and bike rides. My other hobbies include learning about other cultures, drawing, and settling down with a mug of tea and a good book.

Lily Berry

I'm currently a senior in the botany and plant pathology department with a minor in environmental science and I'm interested in ecology and how plants interact with each other. I'm going to graduate in the winter and plan to do some more research at Purdue before going to grad school.



Yingying Xie Ph.D.

Dr. Yingying Xie got her Bachelor and Master’s degree at Beijing Forestry University in China. Then she finished her PhD in 2016 at EEB department at University of Connecticut in the US. She worked as a postdoc at the Department of Geography in University at Buffalo during 2016 and 2018, then became a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Program in Environmental Sciences at Northwestern University during 2018 and 2021. Her research focuses on forest ecological responses to global environmental change from phenological perspective at multiple spatial scales using integrated approaches including field observation, remote sensing and statistical modeling. She is also actively involved in improving pedagogical knowledge and skills and applying active learning activities in college class teaching and learning. Dr. Xie is now an assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University.

Curriculum Vitae

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Hanna Thammavong

I am going into my final year as an undergraduate student at Purdue University. I am studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I currently work as a barista and in my free time I love reading fiction books, cooking, hiking, and taking care of my houseplants. Other activities that I enjoy but can’t always find time for include kayaking, painting, and making digital art.

Rima Tulaiha

Hello! I am Rima Tulaiha and I am an undergraduate student at Purdue University. I am majoring in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology with a certificate in medical humanities, and a fun fact about me would be that I grew up in Dubai. Some of my hobbies are reading true crime books, writing poetry, swimming, and drinking coffee! 

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