Maddie Machado ’25


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Plant Pathogens in a High-altitude System

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I worked as part of a team studying “flax rust,” a fungal infection that affects the flax wildflower in the Gunnison Valley in Colorado. Working in sites across low, middle and high elevations, we conducted repeat surveys in areas between 50 and 200 square meters of plant height, degree of disease infection as determined by the surface area covered by fungal pustules, soil moisture, wind direction, wind speed and several other climatic variables. Ultimately, we hope these data will help predict the dynamics between the flax plant and flax rust, as climate change contributes to hotter and drier conditions in the Gunnison Valley. I enjoyed my time in Gothic at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory because I was exposed to many other research studies happening nearby and was able to collaborate with and learn from other ecologists.

Internship Year


Project Category

Climate and Environmental Science


Metcalf Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gothic, Colorado


C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Princeton University; Keenan Duggal, Research Associate, High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University; Juliana Jiranek, Ph.D. candidate, Biology, University of Virginia