Natalie Wong ’25


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Farm Project Field Assistant

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

Along with my co-interns in the Rubenstein Lab, I investigated the effects of mutualisms among the “three sisters” crops — corn, beans and squash — on plant growth and health. Indigenous groups have implemented the practice of planting the three sisters together for centuries, but the potential benefits of this system for sustainable agriculture in a climatically uncertain world have yet to be studied robustly. On the farm, I learned how to prepare the field using organic agriculture techniques, planted different types of seeds and set up experimental configurations within the constraints of outdoor conditions. Then, I used the software JMP to visualize trends and perform statistical tests on the data we collected. Overall, I found the project’s interdisciplinary nature to be the most fascinating and rewarding aspect and I gained knowledge about Native American history in the Princeton area. I hope to continue fusing scientific and humanistic research in my independent project to explore my primary area of interest: building a more planet- and people-friendly food system.


Internship Year


Project Category

Food Systems and Health


Rubenstein Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Emeritus; Gina Talt, Project Manager, Food Systems, Office of Sustainability