I earned my PhD in Genetics at UC Davis, and a BS and MS in Biology with a specialization in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution at UC San Diego. Throughout my career I have been interested in biotechnology and ecology, and how to use biotech tools to better understand natural phenomena. I've worked at biotechnology firms Axiom Biotechnologies (now Sequenom), HK Pharmaceuticals and Scidera Inc. from the bottom up, starting as a summer laboratory assistant in tissue culture and finally a paid analysis consultant for dog pedigree tests. In my research I have used genetic tools to look at ecological and evolutionary patterns of diverse species, including slipper snails in Mission Bay, gibbons in Southeast Asia and several subspecies of rainbow trout in California. My current research and collaborations use statistical analyses in education assessment and genetic tools to estimate environmental microbial diversity in a wide array of settings, including the effects of native plant roots on microbial soil communities, differences in microbial community composition on ocean plastics, and testing for differences in microbial species on skin samples of whales. I welcome student participation in these projects or the opportunity to work with students on related projects of their own.