Cassie Freund


Wake Forest University

I am a tropical forest ecologist and PhD student at Wake Forest University. I currently study the disturbance ecology of tropical montane forests, which means I spend a lot of time scrambling up landslides in the Peruvian Andes! My work is important for understanding the structure, composition, and functioning of these dynamic forest ecosystems.

Cassie has authored 12 articles

"Poached" takes you into the trenches of wildlife crime

Rachel Love Nuwer explains how and why illegal trade threatens to wipe some of our planet's most charismatic animals off the map forever

Why fieldwork is still crucial for science research

There are some things it's impossible to discern without ground truthing

How one invasive plant can change a rainforest

The mountain apple's entry into Indonesia a century ago still threatens biodiversity there

'Being Ecological' is a book with admirable aims and a tangled execution

Prioritizing data over action can be counterproductive – but so is a muddled message

What Pokémon GO can teach conservationists about public engagement

In six days, players collected as much data as naturalists had in 400 years

Four facts about Marie Tharp, the woman whose art mapped the bottom of the sea

She discovered the Earth's 'backbone' even though men wouldn't let her on a ship for 17 years

The hidden costs of fieldwork are making science less diverse

Here are five practical ways to start fixing the problem

Animals feel a 'landscape of fear' – just like humans

Afraid of lions by moonlight and raptors by day, animals will behave in dramatic ways

Biodiversity doesn't just arise out of healthy ecosystems. It helps create them

Why researchers are starting to think differently about biodiversity

What modern conservationists can learn from humanity's long history with rainforests

There's a growing body of evidence that humans have been modifying tropical forests for over 40,000 years

Cassie has left Comment 11 peer comments

Climate is getting more extreme in every possible way

From precipitation to the carbon cycle to natural disasters, the outliers are now the norm.

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Should peer review stop being anonymous?

Prominent researchers can take the gamble, but junior scientists risk retribution

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Floating detritus is giving new insights into deep-sea corals

Environmental DNA is a less invasive way to solve long-submerged mysteries

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Can corals be saved? The key may be in their microbes

Biologists are studying corals with techniques designed for humans

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Science doesn't need to be so complicated. The answer: more sensible statistics

Let the battle between human psychology and science have statisticians' supervision

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What does California's future look like? Scientists asked trees

Blue oaks have up to 500 years of climate history written in their rings

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What the Ice Age tells us about how plants will manage in a hotter world

New research seems to resolve a puzzle of why plants struggled in the past

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Is light pollution changing how plants do – and don't – grow?

Plants depend on cycles of light. Now, they're always on

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Toxic chemicals are being freed from melting glaciers

Scientists are finding decades-old DDT and PCB flowing from the Tibetan Plateau

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Beetles exploit bacteria labor to grow their exoskeletons

New research has revealed a "symbiotic organ" in weevils, showing how tiny organisms shape larger life

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When you smell the roses, do they smell you back?

Scientists have found that plants like Canada goldenrod deploy defenses against insects on scent

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