I have a doctorate in population & conservation genetics from the interdisciplinary program of Genetics at Texas A&M University. My dissertation was research on biodiversity of the African lion. At Texas A&M, I took on leadership roles and strove to be an active member of the academic committee regularly attending program & departmental seminar series. I have done both oral and poster presentations at national, local and University-level conferences and symposia. I have received multiple awards through the University and College of Veterinary Medicine, such as being a recipient of the Graduate Student Research Trainee Grant. I am a participating member of multiple graduate student organizations. I have been an officer for the Genetics Graduate Student Associate as a website committee member, the head of recruitment, and Vice-President. I have a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington (2006) in Psychology with a focus in Animal Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Anthropology. After graduating, I traveled to the Amazon (2006), visited the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford in England (2007), became a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College (2007-2008), and obtained an equivalent to a bachelor’s in biology from taking courses at various universities in Southern California (2009-2011). In addition to travel and education, I was a volunteer researcher for over five years (2007-2012) for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research participating in studies on various species of bears, birds, elephants, and local fauna. I was the zoo’s primary research assistant for two studies on the giant panda implemented in association with Mississippi State University. I have also been working with the Cheetah Conservation Fund since 2005 through research, outreach and fundraising.