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Sampling RNA in the Sonoran Desert

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Chris Dick



I received my PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Idaho in 2016, working with Dr. David Tank

My interest in research began while taking a plant systematics course taught by Dr. Richard Olmstead as an undergraduate at the University of Washington. My first project was to infer the molecular phylogeny of the plant family Verbenaceae, using chloroplast and nuclear sequence data.

Since then, I have worked as a lab technician, a field assistant surveying conifer encroachment into meadows, and participated in a variety of plant surveys and collecting trips. Through these experiences, I became fascinated with the diversity of muti-species assemblages in ecological communities. My PhD focused on disentangling diversity patterns in island systems using phylogenetic approaches.

International research collaborations in France and Germany have allowed me to assess ecological and evolutionary drivers of community phylogenetic diversity at macro-ecological scales. For my postdoctoral research I am focusing on finer levels of diversity, using functional genomics to decipher mechanisms that link genes to phenotypes in natural plant communities. 

Outside of the lab, I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including backpacking, skiing, running and biking. Continually botanizing, I love photographing plants on my adventures.

How awfully flat I shall feel, if I when I get my notes together on species, the whole thing explodes like an empty puff-ball. Do not work yourself to death.
— C. Darwin to J. D. Hooker (1854)