I am currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Shikuma Lab at San Diego State University. My current research pairs advanced bacterial genetics techniques with approaches in cellular-, molecular-, and developmental biology to investigate the role of bacteria in stimulating metamorphosis of a marine tubeworm model. More broadly, I am interested in understanding host-microbe interactions and environmental influences during development of diverse marine larvae.
I was born and raised outside of Chicago and, despite a Midwest upbringing, have always had an interest in the biology of the oceans. I completed my B.S. with High Honors at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 2014. While completing my degree, I began working in marine biological research as an undergraduate volunteer.
After undergrad, I pursued graduate studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where I completed my M.S. in Marine Biology in 2016. My thesis work at UNCW used comparative morphology and microscopy techniques to study biomineralization in blue crabs.
Next, I was a doctoral student in the Hamdoun Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 2016 until my defense in Dec. 2021. My dissertation work focused on developing the sea urchin, Lytechinus pictus, as a model for understanding embryo-environment interactions.
When I'm not in the lab, I love to hike, camp, kayak, snorkel and SCUBA dive, cook and bake new things, read sci-fi, and perhaps my favorite thing to do outside of science is training agility with my dog!