Lauren Harris received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolution with Distinction in the Major from the University of California, Santa Barbara In 2021. Lauren spent two years as an undergraduate researcher in the D’Antonio Lab for vegetation ecology, where she conducted an independent research project germinating a variety of chaparral plant species from soil seed banks (the natural collections of seeds within soil). This allowed her to determine the most effective fire-related cue for germination, which can streamline seed bank analysis for restoration practitioners. In addition to Lauren’s research in the D’Antonio Lab, she worked at the UCSB Biology Greenhouse as a greenhouse assistant caring for the research and teaching plant collections. Her experience in the lab and her two years at the greenhouse have expanded her appreciation for the role of plants in the functionality of the natural world. At Bren she is pursuing a focus in Conservation Planning to better protect, restore and manage California’s terrestrial ecosystems, with special consideration for the role of vegetation in these systems.