Honors Fellowships

Olivia Trani

Trani, OliviaName: Olivia Trani
Title of Project:
 The Fungus Among Us: Mycorrhizal Fungi and Competition Impact on American Chestnuts
Advisor: Harmony Dalgleish
Honors Department: Biology

My research aims to analyze how mycorrhizal fungi associations and interspecific seedling competition influences American Chestnut seedling performance. By exploring how American chestnut seedling respond to varying kinds of mycorrhizae-rich soil and different seedling competitors, this study hopes to gain insight into how restoration methods might affect American chestnut seedlings and how these efforts might impact neighboring tree species as well.

The Honors Fellowship has given me the opportunity to conduct a fully-fledged research experiment, and has allowed my project ideas and objectives to reach a greater potential. The scale and depth of my research would not have been possible without the Honors Fellowship.

Hometown: Richmond, VA
Majors: Biology and Environmental Science
Future Plans: After completing my education at William and Mary, I hope to continue to work in the restoration ecology field.
Hobbies: I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, hiking, rock climbing, and drinking too much coffee!
Fun Fact: I have a hereditary trait called Photic Sneeze Reflex, which means that looking at very intense sunlight makes me sneeze. It also has been called “ACHOO syndrome” (autosomal-dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst syndrome).


Follow Olivia’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!