I love science research and education because I wake up every morning with confidence that I am working to fix important problems including contamination of our environment by persistent waste. I earned my Ph.D. at Yale University using x-ray crystallography to study the three-dimensional structure of two parasite proteins that are required for infection. Upon graduation I accepted a job teaching and doing research with undergraduates at Yale. I specifically work with students to study biological activities and bioactive natural products from endophytic fungi. Besides mentoring undergraduates it is my privilege to work with Michelle to identify and study the enzymatic proteins fungi use to degrade complex polymers. The Waorani people are indigenous to the Ecuadorian Rainforest where we hunt for endophytes. They believe that where there is a poison in the jungle you can also find a cure. I do this research with great faith that a remedy for plastic and synthetic rubber waste accumulation already exists in our environment and is waiting to be discovered and effectively harnessed.