PERL Team

Meet the faces of PERL

Director

Dr. 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.

Margot Vanyan '22

Outreach & Communications

Margot is a senior studying Government and Environmental Policy at W&M. Aside from previously serving as a Fundraising Chair and Social Chair in the William & Mary Choir and working as the administrator of the choral scholars at Hickory Neck Church, she also enjoys ecotherapy, conservation, and plant care. She’s beyond excited to reach out to students about ecotherapy activities on campus and promote nature engagement!

Johnny Peters '22

GIS Manager

Johnny is double major in Geology and Environmental Science. He is also active in Residence Life and the Club Swim team. Johnny enjoys going on long hikes, confident in the connection between nature and a healthy mind. He hopes to encourage more students to explore the green spaces around them. Check out his favorite spot on campus, the abandoned Matoaka Amphitheater!

Vicky Morales '22

Social Media Intern

Vicky Morales is Government and Public Health double major at W&M. Outside of PERL she is a member of the Latin American Student Union, Class Senator in Student Assembly, and member of Phi Mu. She enjoys kayaking and exploring new trails! She hopes to highlight all the amazing greenspaces students can visit so they enjoy some time outside.

Caroline Taylor '22

Project Manager

Caroline Taylor is an Environmental Policy and Latin American Studies major, and is involved in SOMOS research team, Salsa Club, and Tri Delta on campus. She also is a virtual environmental science teacher at a local high school, which helps her share the importance of the human/nature relation with the wider community. She loves to hike and kayak, and can usually be found somewhere on campus, under a tree with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Catie Jones '22

Research Assistant

Catie Jones is a senior neuroscience major from Charlottesville, Virginia. Catie is involved in peer advising, greek life, club rugby, and computational neuroscience research at WM. Additionally, she enjoys tutoring chemistry at the tutor zone and will be completing her honors thesis this year studying inflammatory pathways of neurodegenerative diseases. In her free time she enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and spending the day at college creek with her friends.

Lauren Lam '22

Project Manager

Lauren is a senior Biology and Environmental Science double major and unofficial Sociology minor here at the College. She’s from Elkton, VA and is involved in Health Outreach Peer Educators, greek life, Camp Launch, and Student Transition Engagement Programs on campus. She’s passionate about animal conservation, behavior, and rehabilitation. Her favorite animals are sea otters (with stoats coming in a very close second place) and she can be found anywhere on campus with her best friends!

Jordan Kenney '23

Campus Park Rx Program Manager

Jordan is a Geology and Environmental Science & Policy double major at W&M. She is also working with Student Unions & Engagement, a contributing member of Camp Kesem W&M, and is active in AMP’s Science & Sustainability Committee. 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.

Lindsey Smith '23

Research Assistant

Lindsey Smith is a biology and environmental science major from Alexandria, VA. Along with being involved in PERL, she is a Sustainability Ambassador, Fitwell yoga instructor, vice president for ASL club, and participates in research at VIMS. She loves studying outdoors and exploring the nature around campus!

Will Florentino '24

Greenspace Map & Tree Tour Manager

Will is a sophomore 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.

Walnut

PERL Nature Ambassador

Walnut is a PERL Nature Ambassador. She is a shy, two-year-old 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. Applications are taken on a rolling basis and are reviewed 4-6 weeks before the start of each semester. Apply at this link. Email PERL's Director with questions dcibes@wm.edu

PERL Alumni

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

Sara Clark '14, Government & Environmental Policy