About me

People know me as an organized researcher, teacher and graduate student. I am proud to be from Chicago, IL and love that I get to learn about plant ecology in the city that I call home. I’m a PhD candidate at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden where I also earned my Master’s degree in Plant Biology and Conservation. I’m currently determining which combinations of local plant species can live together on green roofs. Green roofs are rooftops were many plants can grow. In addition to providing habitat for plants, birds, and insects, these special habitats can help hold storm water, filter pollutants from the air, and decrease the heating and cooling costs of a building.

As a scientist, I work with many people from the community like naturalists, roofing specialists, and building mangers. I get to travel to some of the most beautiful natural areas and urban green roofs to collect my data. I also spend time in a lab working with student interns and other volunteers cleaning seeds, identifying bees, running chemical tests on soil samples, cleaning DNA, and running tests in the molecular biology laboratory. My goal is to have my findings to inform how green roofs are used in North America and increase city-wide greening and environmental awareness efforts. Supporting native plant and animal species in cities is essential for the current and future health of all living things on the planet.

Please feel free to contact me (kellyksiazek2011@u.northwestern.edu) and look for more updates on Twitter (@GreenCityGal)

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