About Ka Ki (Lily)'s Work

Lily is a master’s student in the Environmental Studies Department at San Jose State University. Her graduate research focuses on the impact of invasive tree encroachment and tree removal treatment on the soil microbial community of a coastal grassland that is owned and managed by Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) in San Mateo County, California. The project findings will provide invaluable foundational knowledge for the agency and land managers on soil microbial communities of the land parcel to develop future management plans for more effective restoration efforts in preserving grassland habitat for native species. Being at the intersection of urban space and natural ecosystem, she hopes to apply her work in managing urban grasslands by bringing future ecosystem restorations closer to immigrant and low-income communities as a way to improve their physical and mental health.

Originally fascinated by a residential composting program as a kid in Hong Kong, Lily developed her passion for environmental sciences and ecology after moving to San Francisco. Lily’s internship with the San Francisco Department of the Environment introduced her to the city’s campaign organization and policy implementation on environmental issues that deeply impact underprivileged communities in the city, driving her to pursue a higher education and career in environmental work. Growing up in an immigrant family, she strongly values every opportunity to receive a great education and to nurture younger generations in her community to achieve the success that will ultimately transform themselves and their communities. For her undergraduate research at UC Berkeley, Lily led and conducted a greenhouse experiment to study arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonization in plant root systems and rhizosphere soil. This experience has not only inspired her to contribute to the greater scientific knowledge in soil microbial ecology, but it has also compelled her to support young underserved students of color throughout her undergraduate years in the intimidating world of environmental sciences and ecological research.