Evan Thomas is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He completed a master's degree in Biological Sciences, studying algal communities in a lake and the effects of physical wave disturbance on them. Currently Evan researches a common, but overlooked diatom genus in North American streams and has described several new species based on their morphology (how they look), and is building a phylogeny (family tree) of them based on morphology and DNA sequences. He plans to synthesize the diversity, phylogeny, and ecological habitat preferences of these diatoms to better understand their relationship with water quality. He drives an old, little pickup.