The Shotgun Scientist
Educator | Plant Ecophysiologist | Science Communicator
The Shotgun Scientist
Educator | Plant Ecophysiologist | Science Communicator



Angelica Patterson is a plant ecologist questing to understand how natural communities shift and respond to climate change. 

Angelica received her B.S. degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and her M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University in plant ecophysiology. Her interests in understanding the mechanisms behind climate-induced tree migration and plant community shifts inspired her to examine tree physiological responses to temperature as part of her research. More specifically, her research compares the photosynthetic and respiratory responses of over 20 tree species with differing historic range distributions in order to evaluate which species may be better able to tolerate climates that are predicted to occur within the next 50-100.


Angelica is a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the environmental sciences and has served on various committee and working groups. She has also spoken to audiences at several US universities, environmental organizations, and K-12 institutions. Angelica is currently serving as the Master Science Educator at Black Rock Forest in New York.



Read Angelica's articles to learn about hot topics in forest ecology and the impact climate change has on plants. 

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Watch featured videos and interviews about Angelica's research and science education efforts



The Scientist

Black in X Addresses Long-Standing Inequity in STEM. In a year of racial tumult, Black scientists are uniting for visibility and action.


The Guardian

As forests evolve in the face of climate crisis, some surprising methods are being used to track how species migrate.


In Defense of Plants

Climates have always changed but thanks to human activity it is happening at an ever-increasing rate. For sessile organisms like trees, this often means either adapting in place or risk going extinct. However predicting the outcomes of climate change on life is extremely challenging and differs depending on what kinds of plants you're looking at and where you are studying them. This is where people like my guest come in. Angie Patterson is a PhD student at Columbia University and she is studying how climate change is affecting trees like the red oak (Quercus rubra) that are important components of the forests in which they grow.


Columbia Spectator

Angelica Patterson is a fourth-year student in a doctoral program in the department of earth and environmental sciences. She has an interest in climate change, and has yet to commit herself to a career in academia. She’s also the only black woman in her program.


Columbia Student Spotlight

Graduate Student of Arts and Sciences blog profiling Angelica Patterson, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.



The uplifting Twitter trend #BlackInNature highlights the stories of Black people in the outdoors, many of whom are life scientists who perform research in the field. We asked #BlackInNature scientists to share their experiences and motivations to get outside.


The Forestry Source

In the August 2020 special issue of The Forestry Source on forest carbon, a number of articles highlighted the role that trees can play in mitigating climate change because of their ability to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide.



We spoke with three Black women working in the natural sciences who have embraced these online movements as a way to amplify their environmental research and collaborate with other scientists of color.


Diverse Education

Patterson recently convened a panel of prestigious women who work in the sciences to discuss “Breaking Down Barriers: Women and Their Experiences in the Sciences.” The unquestionable consensus was students have to have a support system. “There needs to be people available for students to relate to,” said Patterson.