Olivia Cope works in Will Wetzel's lab.
Area of expertise: Plant-herbivore interactions, intraspecific trait variation
Olivia completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked on the ecology of insect-induced plant galls. She then pursued a PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Integrative Biology. Her PhD work, completed in 2020, focused on variation in the expression of herbivore defense traits in trembling aspen. In particular, Olivia investigated among-genotype tradeoffs between growth and defense traits, and how these tradeoffs varied with plant development and competitive environment. Currently, Olivia is an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow studying intraspecific trait diversity and its implications across scales, from individual plants to plant-insect communities. Using common milkweed as a model organism, this work focuses on developmental trait changes and their interactions with genetic variation and climate variability. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys riding bikes and doing craft projects.