Meet the faces of PERL


Dr. Dorothy Ibes founded PERL in 2009, and has been directing the lab at William & Mary since 2013. An urban human-environment geographer, Ibes's work focuses on fostering reciprocal human-nature relationships, with a focus on mental health promotion through nature engagement, or "ecotherapy". Her use-inspired, interdisciplinary research integrates theory and practice from ecopsychology, human-environment geography, public health, urban park planning and design, and related fields. Ibes is a faculty member in Interdisciplinary Studies, teaching for William & Mary's Environmental Science and Policy program and Center for Geospatial Analysis. For more, click here.

Lindsey Smith '23

Assistant Director

Lindsey Smith is a Biology and Environment & Sustainability double major from Alexandria, VA. Along with her involvement in PERL, she is a Fitwell yoga instructor and the Marine Science Society social media chair. She also volunteers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in both a research lab and at the aquarium. You can almost always find Lindsey either sitting under a tree or at the picnic tables around campus!

Jordan Kenney '23

Campus Park Rx Coordinator

Jordan is a Geology and Environment & Sustainability double major from Front Royal, VA. Aside from PERL, she works with Student Unions & Engagement, is Vice President and Co-Founder of the Slacklining Club, and is Historian of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity. Jordan loves hiking and hammocking with her friends and is so excited to become an advocate for the use of greenspace both on and off-campus.

Ana Britt '23

Research Assistant

Ana is a senior at William and Mary, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biology. In addition to her academic pursuits, Ana is actively involved in scuba club. She is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her passion lies in marine biology, and after completing her studies at William and Mary, she hopes to pursue a career in environmental law and do her part to help protect the environment. She enjoys taking walks, meditating, and hanging up her eno around campus outside to destress during busy school semesters. Whenever she gets the chance, you can find her reading a good book and soaking up the sun in the sunken gardens!

Kayleigh Durr '23

Research Assistant

Kayleigh is a senior at W&M and will be graduating next fall. She is a new research assistant with the Parks and Ecotherapy lab and is so excited to be working with Dr. Ibes this year. Kayleigh is from Northern Virginia and is double majoring in Environmental Science & Policy and Art with a studio concentration. She is super interested in sustainability in architecture and urban planning. Kayleigh grew up backpacking and camping with her family which nurtured her fondness for nature. On campus, she is involved in a social sorority and was an orientation aid. Kayleigh's favorite spot on campus is Lake Matoaka, specifically the woods to the Matoaka art studio.

Sydney Thayer '24

Research Assistant

Sydney is a rising junior studying Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy at W&M. Outside of PERL she is involved in Student Assembly, Veggie Society, SUSTAIN Peer Educators, Dining Sustainability, and serves as an orientation aide for new students. Sydney loves spending time outside and has a particular affinity for trees, especially the wide variety of beautiful trees on campus. She is passionate about sustainability and believes that appreciating the natural world is one the best ways to help people realize why it is so important that we protect it.

Will Florentino '24

Tree Tour & Campus Greenspace Map Coordinator

Will is a junior environmental science and integrative conservation major at William & Mary. He’s also a member of the IIC student leadership council, a board member of the Student Environmental Action Coalition, and an intern at the WILLI herbarium. Will loves reading and being in the forest (often simultaneously) and his favorite tree is the coast redwood. He is eager to help bring the magic of forests and natural spaces to the greater William & Mary community and beyond.

Bayleigh Albert '24


Bayleigh is a junior double majoring in Conservation and Creative Media and Environmental Science from Gloucester, VA. She serves as the Banquet Chair for The Christopher Wren Singers, plays on the Green Club Volleyball Team, and is the Treasurer for the W&M Choir. She is also the owner of a small business on Etsy called BayCoast Charms. Bayleigh loves spending time outside, especially at the beach with her ukulele and a good book. She is passionate about photographing the natural world and hopes to convey the interconnectedness of humans and nature through photography.

Alexa Busby '25

Research Assistant

Alexa Busby is a sophomore studying Biology and Environmental Science. In addition to PERL, Alexa is involved in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, Tribe Scribes, and the applied conservation and ecological research lab on campus. She loves spending time outdoors, especially hiking and hammocking!

Emma Henry '25

Social Media & Outreach Coordinator

Emma is a sophomore from Wallingford, PA. She is a prospective Environmental Humanities and History double major with a passion for anything outdoors! Outside of serving as the Social Media & Outreach Coordinator for PERL, she is an Associate News Editor for The Flat Hat, a member of Rock Climbing Club, works as a Dining Sustainability Intern, and is a reporting fellow for the Sharp Journalism Seminar this academic year. She is an avid reader and is always up for a good hike, especially if it involves stopping every four seconds to practice her identification skills!

Sophie Jackson '25

Co-coordinator Campus Park Rx

Sophie is a sophomore from Fairfax, VA double majoring in Environmental Science and Public Health. In addition to PERL, she is a member of the Student Environmental Action Coalition and in the service fraternity on campus, Alpha Phi Omega. She loves to hike, kayak, travel, and explore new outdoor spaces in her free time.


PERL Nature Ambassador

Walnut is a PERL Nature Ambassador. She is a shy hedgehog with a passion for the outdoors. She eats a high protein diet consisting of dry food, insects, fruits, and vegetables. Walnut is nocturnal, and loves running up to three miles every night on her exercise wheel. Her favorite greenspace on campus is the Matoaka Amphitheater where she can forage for insects, hide in the forest brush, or sit and appreciate the peaceful lake.

Are you a W&M student interested in joining PERL?

PERL recruits W&M student interns and researchers each Fall and Spring (and some summers). Applications are taken on a rolling basis and are reviewed 2-6 weeks before the start of each term. Apply here!

PERL Alumni

Caroline Taylor '22, Latin American Studies & Environmental Policy

Vicky Morales '22, Government & Public Health

Margot Vanyan '22, Government & Environmental Policy

Johnny Peters '22, Geology & Environmental Science

Lauren Lam '22, Biology & Environmental Science

Lydia Grund '22, Biology & Environmental Science & Policy

Sarah Snipes '21, Geology & Environmental Science

Evie Tsow '21, East Asian Studies & Environmental Science

Grace Dho '21, Environmental Science & Biology

Amelia Lowe '21, History and Environmental Science & Policy

V Colley '23, Biology & Environmental Science

Abby Kitila ' 23

Olivia Staub '20

Shannon Redifer '20

Colleen Norton '21, Biology

Suhas Suddala '22, Psychology & Organizational Leadership and Management

Emmi Burke '21, Economics & Environmental Policy

Hali Pregnall '20, Biology & Marine Science

Zach Meredith '19, American Studies & Urban Studies

Carolyn (Carrie) Martin '19

Annabel McSpadden '18, Psychology & English

Tommy Schaefer '19

Darrien Spitz '19, Economics and Environmental Science & Policy

Emily Gardner '18

Madelyn Phillips '18

Alexis Jenkins '18

Abigail Bradford '18

Kathleen Wirshup '18, Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Hannah Cannon ‘18, Public Policy & Environmental Policy

Amanda Gormsen '18, Environmental Policy and Finance

Hannah Kwawu ‘18, Psychology & Marketing

Tyler Treakle ‘18, Biology

Abby Holcombe ‘17, Government & Environmental Policy

Katie McElheny ‘17, Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Catie Liebeck '16, Public Policy & Environmental Policy

Justin Shawler '16, Geology & Government

Robert Boyd '16, Film & Media Studies

Olivia Jebb '16, Neuroscience

Alex Schwartz '16, Economics & Public Policy

Katie Johanson '15, Sociology & Environmental Policy

Lauren Barbera '15, Global Health & Kinesiology.

Luke Hart-Moynihan '15, Neuroscience