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### Spotlight on Tara Allohverdi: Forestry Graduate Student

Tara, a Ph.D. candidate, discusses how her diverse internships during her undergraduate studies influenced her research focus on natural resource economics and the life cycle analysis of forest products.

  • Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Degree in Progress: Ph.D.
  • Research focus: Natural resource economics and Life Cycle Analysis of forest products

What sparked your interest in pursuing a Ph.D. in Forestry?

Tara’s interdisciplinary background shaped her research trajectory. Her internships at an automotive company focusing on polymer chemistry during her undergraduate years steered her towards biomaterials. Subsequently, completing an MSc. in plant agriculture at the University of Guelph, where she explored biochar-amended soils for soy cultivation, deepened her fascination with agricultural and forest residues crucial for biomaterial production. This journey underscored the significance of comprehending both environmental and economic viability in resource procurement.

What motivated your decision to study at MSU?

Despite considering multiple options, Tara was enticed by MSU due to its intimate department size, consistent funding opportunities, and inclusive atmosphere.

Share a highlight from your graduate school experience so far.

One of Tara’s standout moments was attending the SAF conference in Sacramento, California, a memorable experience that coincided with her birthday.

What sets this program apart in your opinion?

Tara appreciates the program’s strong interdisciplinary nature, fostering diverse research endeavors and robust collaboration among different lab groups to enhance the collective outcomes.

What aspects of being an MSU student do you value the most?

The vibrant international community at MSU, inclusive of various backgrounds, resonates with Tara. She finds solace in encountering fellow Persian students, fostering a sense of belonging and facilitating cultural exchange.

Any insights or recommendations for current students?

While acknowledging the challenges of graduate school, Tara finds fulfillment in the opportunities for publishing, research, conference participation, and collaborative ventures. She views continuous learning in this environment as a profound means of personal growth.

What aspirations do you hold for the future?

Currently interning at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Tara engages in county-level economic evaluations, a role she finds gratifying. She envisions delving into state-level initiatives and nonprofit endeavors, driven by a profound desire to witness the tangible impact of her contributions on a broader scale.

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