Laura Boggess

Ph.D. student, City University of New York / New York Botanical Garden

Research locations

North America


Cliffs are diverse and understudied ecosystems. Their reputation as geological features lacking biodiversity combined with the physical difficulties of sampling has meant that cliff systems are less studied than their horizontal counterparts. However, a growing body of research in the field of cliff ecology has revealed that cliffs often do harbor high biodiversity and are home to many rare and endemic species. Lichens in particular dominate sheer rock faces but have received almost no attention from the scientific community. My research activities are focused on the fascinating flora found on Appalachian cliffs and address questions in the fledgling field of cliff ecology and conservation.

Selected Publications

Boggess, L. M., G.L. Walker, and M. D. Madritch. 2017. Cliff flora of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Natural Areas Journal 37: 200-211.

Walker, G.L., M.D. Madritch, L.M. Boggess, E. Purdy, K. Dowdy, M. Funston, Development of a GIS model to predict information critical for managing rock climbing at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. 2014. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service Grant Report.

Walker, G.L., M.D. Madritch, J. Harkey, L.M. Boggess. 2013. Cliff System Vegetation Communities in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. National Park Service Grant Report.

Boggess, L. M., E.C. Bolas, L.P. Chesnutt, D.A. Eitelberg, K.M. Hines, E.B. Hoekstra, G.Y. Kimmel, K.R. Mcleod, E.K. Meineke, A.M. Nagle, B.A. Purvis. 2006. A baseline study of the effects of hemlock loss in the Henry Wright Preserve and Kelsey Tract. Highlands Field Site Capstone.

Boggess, L. M., T.M. Goforth. 2006. The correlation of pH indicator plant species with the geology of a rich mountain cove. Highlands Field Site Research Reports.