I am a PhD Candidate at Utah State University, where I am also a science reporter for Utah Public Radio. I study life history trade-offs in side-blotched lizards and am particularly interested in how they allocate energy to the immune and reproductive systems during times of stress. I am also interested in animal behavior, evolution and ecology, and finding solutions for wildlife living under the stressors of urbanization and ecotourism.
My passion for wildlife began at a young age, but blossomed during my Bachelor’s degree work at the University of Central Arkansas, where I conducted undergraduate research on turtle communities in Arkansas and Nebraska. I stayed at UCA for my Master’s degree on alligator habitat requirements in the outskirts of their range. After my Master’s, I was employed as an environmental consultant for GBMc & Associates, where I specialized in erosion control and aquatic invertebrate assessments, as well as fish surveys.
When I'm not performing lab work or creating stories radio, I enjoy teaching students general biology and physiology courses. Most of the time, I dream about getting back to my field sites, which are in the deserts of southern Utah.