Mary Ellyn graduated from East Tennessee State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology and a concentration in plant sciences. She moved to Montana in 2014 to pursue a career in plant ecology and worked for the U.S. Forest Service and MPG Ranch as a seasonal field botanist. In 2020, she completed her M.S. in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University where her research focused on investigating the impacts of crop diversity on insects, weeds, and soil microbial communities in an agroecosystem located northcentral Montana. This experience allowed her to study the inner workings of ecosystems and inspired her to continue studying ecology in natural ecosystems at MPG Ranch. In her spare time, Mary Ellyn enjoys gardening, hunting, fishing, and cooking.