Selected Code

Several examples of my coding ability that I’m proud of are in private GitHub repositories until their eventual publication but I am still deeply excited to share a selection of my work that is publicly-available!

LTER Working Group - Silica Exports

One LTER synthesis working group (see the LTER Network Office website for more details) I had a particularly significant role in helping was the Silica Exports group. This group was particularly interested in the drivers of and variation in export of silica from rivers around the world. Riverine silica export is significant–in part–because diatoms in the ocean are silica limited. Diatoms are important marine photosynthesizers and their populations can have a direct impact on carbon sequestration and, indirectly, climate change.

This working group had annual data on silica concentrations from hundreds of rivers around the globe. They had created plots of these data showing the relationship between silica (y) and time (x) and wanted to (1) identify significant changes in the slope in each line, (2) “break” the line at those places, and (3) fit separate linear models to each section of the line to be able to assess rates of change. After a few initial conversations so that I could better understand their needs I set to work building a workflow that could meet their needs. I periodically met with the principal investigators of this team to discuss my progress and ask for clarification at points where a judgement call needed to be made by a subject matter expert.

The products of that work are housed in this GitHub repository and make heavy use of the HERON R package I am developing to support this task and a few related repositories created for the same working group.

Lyon MS Thesis - Native Bee Restoration Ecology

I earned my Master of Science at Iowa State University in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program and the focus of my thesis was restoration community ecology of Midwestern pollinators and nectar-producing plants. One facet of this work was a side question I pursued on the response of native bees to combinations of annual prescribed fire and cattle grazing.

Native bees don’t form hives in the way that European honey bees do and many of them make solitary nests in stems or by digging small (and very cute!) holes in patches of bare ground. Fire and cattle grazing change the availability both of bare ground and dead stems and these management methods also altar the composition of the floral community. I hypothesized that the changes to the bees’ food sources and habitat would change the bee community and set out to test the extent to which this was the case.

As is sometimes the case with ecology research, I had a wonderful time collecting the data but they were so zero-inflated (i.e., there were so many times when I didn’t find any bees in my traps) that the data weren’t really analyzable. That said I made a GitHub repository for my exploration and initial quality control of the data and made it public.

I also shared the data on the Environmental Data Initiative’s Data Portal in case someone else could find a use for them. I’ve linked that data package here.