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BW biology professor, students find trees talk at Cleveland Metroparks forest

Hands-on research at Cleveland Metroparks

Hands-on research that is worthy of national recognition is at the heart of BW's biology major. Just ask Madison Dolnicek '21 and Abigail Cox '23, who are benefiting from a deep-dive research project with BW biology professor Dr. Kathryn Flinn.

Dolnicek, who graduated summa cum laude in December and is employed with the Cleveland Metroparks, and Cox, who is planning to attend medical school, both gained valuable research accolades.

Among them, they presented their research at the Ohio Natural History Conference in February and will present it at the Society of Ecological Restoration meeting this month. In addition, they are both co-authors of a paper that was published in the international journal Forest Ecology and Management.

Using Tree Rings to Predict Forest Growth

In 2020, Dolnicek and Cox spent the summer studying the growth and changes in the forest at A.B. Williams Memorial Woods in the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

They collected tree cores from beech, sugar maple and hemlock trees to analyze the history and development of the forest from the tree rings and predict how the forest will continue to develop.

For Dolnicek, who transferred to BW from her hometown of Westerville, Ohio, after earning an associate's degree, the research opportunity affirmed her interest in environmental science and pursuing a career that puts her outside in the natural world. Cox, who is majoring in biology and resides in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, is preparing to apply for medical school.

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