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Allison R. Byrd

Doctoral Student


Allison R. Byrd (previously Allison R. Fortner) is a doctoral student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia (UGA). She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication with a focus in science communication and a certificate in International Agriculture. Allison received her Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education (M.A.E.E.) from UGA in December 2021. Her thesis research explored the influence of university scientists’ perceived age, race, and gender on social media engagement on Instagram and Twitter. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communication (B.S.A.) from UGA in 2016. Previously, she worked as assistant marketing director at Super-Sod (2016-2019) and as an administrative associate at the University of Georgia (2019-2020) before pursuing her education full-time as a graduate research assistant in fall 2020.

Research Interests

Allison’s research interests include relationship dimensions between science and the public, specifically related to culture and communication.

Current Projects

She is currently working with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Associate Dean for Research to explore effective methods for communicating scientific research from a university to various public stakeholders.

Allison completed an internship with the Safe Seaweed Coalition to assist with developing a communications model for sharing research about safely and sustainably scaling up the global seaweed industry.

Favorite Quote

“For what is more versatile? … coffee can energize the industrious at dawn, calm the reflective at noon, or raise the spirits of the beleaguered in the middle of the night.”

Amor Towles
Allison holds up a leaf of Saccharina latissima or sugar kelp amidst a dense population of wild seaweed in Plougeurneau, France. Allison joined in on this field work in which a PhD student studying red seaweed was collecting data

Allison’s Recent Work

Lamm Lab members publish first in a series about systems thinking in the undergraduate classroom January 3, 2023 - Authors Katie Sanders, Allison Fortner, Kristin Gibson, and Alexa Lamm, along with co-author Kevan Lamm, recently published an article in the Journal of Agricultural Education piloting the use of hypothetical case scenarios in undergraduate agricultural and natural resource classrooms to enhance students’ systems thinking capacities. Systems thinking is a framework...
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Source Credibility and Science Communication on Twitter: A Land Grant University Perspective November 15, 2022 - Allison Fortner, a second-year doctoral student studying science communication in the University of Georgia’s Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication Department, recently published an article in the Journal of Applied Communication. Co-authors in the research project included Dr. Alexa Lamm, Dr. Abigail Borron, Dr. Jessica Holt, and Dr. Allen Moore. An...
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Pura Vida! Lamm Lab presents education research in Costa Rica July 1, 2022 - Allison Fortner, Kristin Gibson, Katie Sanders, and Dr. Alexa Lamm travelled to San Jose, Costa Rica in late June to share research and learn from fellow social scientists at the International Association for Society and Natural Resources conference. The team presented one organized session, one paper, and one poster.  Systems...
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Allison Fortner stands on the coast of a windy island. Fortner’s UGA and Seaweed Experience Highlighted by CAES Cultivate and Premier of New Podcast June 14, 2022 - An aspiring triple Dawg at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Allison Fortner was thrilled to be featured on their new digital storytelling platform, Cultivate. In this feature, Fortner shares a bit about herself and her long background and love for the University of Georgia and CAES....
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Sanders stands in front of poster displaying results from a community evaluation survey Sanders presents education and evaluation research at National AAAE 2022 May 20, 2022 - Sanders presents research from the Lamm Lab at the National Association for Agricultural Education Conference in Oklahoma City
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Fortner’s Seaweed Work Highlighted by UGA and Makes National News May 16, 2022 - Allison Fortner, a doctoral student in the Lamm Lab, just completed an eight-week  international internship in Paris and on France’s Brittany Coast, where she worked as a science communicator with the Safe Seaweed Coalition, a global partnership established in 2021 to support a safe and sustainable seaweed industry. The internship fulfilled...
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Three female graduate students stand in front of teal colored posters to present their research at a poster competition. Lamm Lab Debuts Systems Thinking Project at CleanTech Symposium April 25, 2022 - Katie Sanders, Kristin Gibson, and Allison Fortner presented their collective work on systems thinking as an educational tool during the CleanTech Symposium at the Delta Innovation Hub on UGA’s Campus. The three Lamm Lab members participated in the student poster competition that wrapped up the day-long event on Wednesday, April...
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Lamm Lab Presents International Extension and Education Research at AIAEE Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece April 18, 2022 - At the 2022 Association for International Agricultural and Extension Conference, members of the University of Georgia Lamm Lab presented their research on education and extension from an international perspective. With multiple oral abstract presentations one poster presentation, the team was excited to share the results of multiple research projects with...
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Young woman wearing mask stands beside research poster Fortner receives distinguished poster award at AIAEE 2022 April 12, 2022 - Allison Fortner, along with co-author Katie Sanders, presented a poster at the Association of International Agricultural and Extension Education’s 2022 conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, April 4-7. The poster titled, “Exploring the Influence of International Scholars on Social Media Engagement across Platforms,” explored the influence of the presence of international versus...
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The Safe Seaweed Coalition in Action: Updates on Science Communication Impacting Food Security from Paris March 11, 2022 - Allison Fortner, Lamm Lab doctoral student studying science communication, completed the first half of her in-country internship in France. Allison is a science communication intern with the Safe Seaweed Coalition, an international organization focused on environmental, occupational, and consumer safety in the quickly expanding global seaweed industry. Though Allison has...
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Allison’s CV