Education: Ph.D. Candidate, Biology (Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology) University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV Completion Expected May 2023 Research Advisor: Drs. Lee A. Dyer, Lora A. Richards and Matthew L. Forister
Bachelor of Science Major: Environmental Science Minor: Forest Management and Ecology University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV Graduation: May 2014 Awarded Outstanding Graduating Senior in Environmental Science
University of Nevada, Reno Biology Graduate Student Fall Travel Award 2022
Nevada Women's Fund, Jeanne T. Shearer Endowed Scholarship 2022
University of Nevada, Reno Biology Graduate Student Spring Travel Award 2022
Nevada Women's Fund, Courage Sans Peur Foundation Scholarship 2021
University of Nevada, Reno Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship 2020-2021
University of Nevada, Reno Robert E.Dickerson Scholarship 2020
University of Nevada, Reno Biology Graduate Student Travel Award 2020
Nevada Women's Fund, EWB Math and Science Endowed Scholarship 2020
University of Nevada, Reno Hitchcock Graduate Student Fellowship 2020
University of Nevada, Reno Jerry & Betty Wilson Scholarship Recipient 2018-2019
University of Nevada, Reno Anna C. and Walter Frey Scholarship Endowment Recipient 2017-18
University of Nevada, Reno Biology Graduate Student Travel Award 2018
University of Nevada, Reno Outstanding Graduating Senior in Environmental Science 2014
Aldo Leopold Foundation Land Ethic Leaders Scholarship Spring 2012
University of Massachusetts at Amherst Living Routes-Low Carbon Living Scholarship 2011
Lake of the Sky Garden Club Scholarship Tahoe City, CA 2010
Sierra College Presidents Honor Roll: Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011
Teaching Experience: Teaching Assistant, Evolution University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023 Lead discussion groups on topics including: roles of mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and natural selection; mechanisms through which new species arise; construct and interpret phylogenies.
Research Assistant, Cooperative Extension University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV February-October 2022 Assisted with outreach including Hemp Field Days, wrote and published Extension Fact Sheets, and lead undergraduate workers in final field experiment data collection and harvest.
Research Assistant, The Gompert Lab Utah State University July-December 2022 Quantified cuticular hydrocarbons of Lepidopteran using GC-FID.
Research Assistant, The Bug Lab (Dr. Matthew L. Forister) University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV May-December 2021 Prepared field collected plant samples for chemical extractions for analysis using liquid chromotograpahy-mass spectrometry.
Natural History Museum K-12 Tours & Outreach Fall 2018-Spring 2019 Lead and organized guided tours with school classes, scout troops, clubs and other groups at the University of Nevada, Reno's Natural History Museum. Tours are interactive, include hands-on science labs, and align with NV Department of Education Science Standards.
Teaching Assistant, Principles of Biological Investigation Lab University of Nevada, Reno Reno, NV Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018 Lead laboratory instruction of undergraduates, including the use of research equipment, common investigative techniques, and the fundamentals of scientific writing.
Publications: Walia, MK, Kay, ER. 2022 Preliminary evaluation of pearl millet - a new crop in Nevada. Journal of the NACAA. 15(1).
Walia, MK, Kay, ER. 2022, Basic Principles of Soil Health, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-22-17
Walia, MK, Kay, ER. 2022, Soil Cover - A Soil Health Principle, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-22-16
Walia, MK, Kay, ER. 2022, Soil Health - Minimizing Soil Disturbance, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-22-15
Professional Presentations: Entomological Society of America annual meeting. Vancouver, B.C. Canada November 2022 Oral presentation: Into the Wild: The effects of natural and artificial selection on hemp phytochemical diversity and arthropod communities.
Entomological Society of America branch meeting. Santa Rosa, CA, USA April 2022 Oral presentation: Into the Wild: The effects of natural and artificial selection on hemp phytochemical diversity and arthropod communities.
Entomological Society of America annual meeting. Vancouver, B.C. Canada November 2018 Oral presentation: Phytochemical diversity in industrial hemp: Synergies in defense against an array of natural enemies.
Hitchcock Center for Chemical Ecology annual meeting Reno, NV USA December 2018 Oral presentation: Phytochemical diversity in industrial hemp: Synergies in defense against an array of natural enemies.
Internships: Town Manager Intern-Recycling and Solid Waste Town of Truckee Truckee, CA August 2015-August 2016 Worked with local constituents, local governmental and private entities in stakeholder meetings on priorities for the new franchise agreement. Public outreach and education.
Community Involvement: Wolf Pack Howls University of Nevada, Reno - ASUN's Center for Student Engagement Spring 2021 I facilitated conversations which promote civil and productive dialogue amongst UNR's student body on controversial subjects. The goal of these conversations was to create mutual understanding and find common ground.
Nevada Bugs & Butterflies Reno, NV Spring 2017-2019 Docent at NV B&B events. Outreach into local elementary school classrooms teaching students about insects.
Cooperative Extension-Master Gardener Volunteer University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources South Lake Tahoe, CA Spring 2015-currently active Facilitate and present free public workshops on high elevation, short season gardening. Assist in conducting phenology studies on local vegetable varieties. Table local events including farmer’s markets.
Truckee Demonstration Garden-Slow Food Lake Tahoe Truckee, CA Garden manager 2015 Responsible for overall management and oversight of garden including operations, volunteers, weekly newsletters, school field trips and workshops.
Sierra Club Yosemite National Park, CA June 2010 Restoration of social trails.
International Outreach: International Volunteer HQ Chiang Mai, Thailand May 2013 Worked with rural villages to improve infrastructure and taught English as a second language to elementary age children.
Sadhana Forest Tamil Nadu, India December 2011 Worked with the communities surrounding Auroville in reforestation, water conservation and creating “Children’s Land.”
Certifications: Aldo Leopold Foundations Land Ethic Leader Certification Baraboo, WI Sagehen Creek Field Station Truckee, CA
iNaturalist Citizen Science Training Sagehen Creek Field Station Truckee, CA