Alumni Spotlight: Pat Wooden

October 06, 2021

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Pat Wooden, M.S. in renewable natural resources


MS in Renewable Natural Resources, 2019

Current Position

PhD candidate at Clemson University


I'm Pat Wooden (nee Shorter) and I'm from Gloucester VA. I did my undergrad at Virginia Tech (go hokies!) where I fell in love with insects. I wanted to study aquatic ecosystems for my MS, so I joined Dr. Kaller's lab in Fall 2017 and spent two and a half marvelous years in the Atchafalaya River basin setting light traps and studying flood plain ecology. Now, I'm working on my PhD at Clemson (and brought my LSU alum, Louisiana native husband with me) on yet another amazing habitat - Appalachian mountaintops.

Job Responsibilities:

I'm working on beetle taxonomy and systematics in high altitude Appalachia. I climb mountains, sift litter, and identify all the cool critters that live in it.

Favorite LSU Memory:

The RNR graduate students had a UREC league soccer team. We weren't very good and had the disadvantage of being grad students (read: old) but it was a blast. I played with them for 4 seasons.

What advice do you have for current and prospective LSU Agriculture students?

Always do what you say you're going to do. Opportunities open up for people who advocate for themselves and aren't afraid to put in the work.

Awards and Honors

LSU ESA Debate Team 1st Place
VT Koszterab Award for Excellence in Systematics