- Ph.D., University of Louisville, 2016
- B.S., Biology, Baylor University, 2011
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
Dr. Prescott is an ecologist with expertise in assessing methods used to study the impacts of anthropogenic stressors such as climate change and habitat loss on biodiversity. She also has experience integrating fieldwork with data science techniques to model complex systems. She has worked with a variety of environmental data including satellite and climate data as well as a variety of aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity data. As a postdoctoral researcher, she critically examined the accuracy of a risk assessment tool used by resource agencies that predicts species distributions under various climate change scenarios, comparing the outputs of the tool to outputs generated using machine learning methods. This research focused on freshwater species from a variety of taxonomic groups inhabiting different geographical areas of the world, including Asian clam, silver carp, rusty crayfish, Cuban tree frog, and water hyacinth. Her research concluded this tool prioritizes ease of use over model accuracy, potentially resulting in misinformed policy decisions or resource allocation.
Dr. Prescott's dissertation research combined survey data with satellite imagery data to assess odonate (dragonfly and damselfly) diversity across an urban-rural landscape and to identify the environmental factors that influence community composition. Utilizing a bird survey technique to conduct the odonate surveys, her research provided researchers with a new method for surveying dragonflies. Further, Dr. Prescott has leveraged satellite imagery data to identify important habitat corridors that maintain gene flow between wolf spider populations across an urban landscape. She has also modeled extinction risk in odonate species found throughout the United States by identifying ecological traits (e.g., geographic range size and length of flight period) that correlate with NatureServe's global conservation status.
Having obtained her Project Management Professional certification in December 2020, Dr. Prescott uses her skillset to provide high quality, timely deliverables to clients. She has supported both federal and industry clients in developing robust data collection processes and data pipelines to meet scientific business needs.