Dr. Gallagher earned a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. She completed her BA in International Relations (honors) with a minor in Biology from Wellesley College and earned a MS in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University. Most flowering plants and many of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to reproduce. Recent changes in climate may disrupt these ecologically and economically important relationships. Through her research, Dr. Gallagher addresses questions about the mechanisms governing how global climate change affects plant-pollinator interactions and the extent to which changes in the levels of pollination influence the ecology and evolution of plant populations. Her doctoral research was supported with a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Gallagher has strong interest in furthering opportunities in ecology for students and educators from diverse backgrounds and also in promoting a public understanding and interest in science. As a graduate student, she developed and presented a range of educational outreach and development programs, including a two-day discipline-specific pedagogical training for incoming teaching assistants, as well as four animated videos of classical ecology papers. She has presented her research at numerous national and international meetings, including the Ecological Society of America, where she held leadership positions as co-chair of the Ecological Society of America’s Student Section and representative to the Public Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. Dr. Gallagher has been recognized for her public outreach with a Public Impact Fellowship and for her teaching with a Steinhaus Teaching Award and Pedagogical Fellowship.
At Tel Aviv University, Dr. Gallagher will be investigating the ecological and evolutionary processes that maintain continuous color variation and the existence of extremely dark flowers in the native endemic Royal Irises (Iris section Oncocyclus) in the lab of Dr. Yuval Sapir. She is looking forward to exploring the evolutionary ecology of plants and the interface of genetics and ecology.