Amanda Vickers discovered a love of biology with her first introduction to molecular biology at the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham, NC. This passion led her to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she earned a bachelor's degree in biology. Meanwhile, outdoor exploration and a growing love of plants, healing arts, and the environment brought her back to school in 2010 to study the conservation of Appalachian medicinal plants at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD. Here, Amanda earned a Master's in Science in Applied Ecology and Conservation Biology, completing a thesis in the chemical ecology of black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) with collaborative support from the Bent Creek Germplasm Repository, the Natural Products Lab at ABTech, The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research at the University of Maryland and the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies. Amanda is connected to the plant world of Eastern North America on many levels including chemical, cultural and biological research and is deeply aligned with the mission of the Bent Creek Institute and the botanical and alternative medicine community of Western North Carolina.