About Me

I am a community ecologist interested in historical contingency. The theme of my research questions centers on how past events affect ecological communities in the present: how and why do communities with different histories of disturbance (like fire) differ in their responses to a next disturbance? When and how do initial conditions, like the order in which individuals arrive to a community, affect species interactions? I am also interested in de-/postcolonial feminist science and technology studies and the insights this field can bring to ecology. I find mentoring undergraduate researchers to be a rewarding core aspect of managing research projects.

Beyond research, I am committed to cross-disciplinary pedagogical development, both for the university classroom and the broader community, that grounds ecology in its history.

Currently, I am a PhD candidate in Duke’s University Program in Ecology, advised by Dr. Justin Wright. You can reach out to me at anita [dot] simha [at] duke [dot] edu.


Setting up a field experiment, in which I manipulated germination timing of two grass species, in an old field in NC. Summer 2021.