Michigan State University
Graduate Research Assistant
I have always been inspired by the natural world and am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to participate in this important work as a student and researcher. I first became involved in the field of conservation science as an undergraduate student at Penn State University, where I worked as a research assistant in the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildife Research Unit studying stream fish ecology under Dr. Ty Wagner. After graduation, I earned my MS in Biology from Idaho State University, where I studied the effects of DNA methylation on population adaptation in Redband Trout as a member of the Fish Ecology Laboratory working under Dr. Ernest Keeley and Dr. Janet Loxterman. I am currently a PhD student at Michigan State University in the Meek Lab, where I am studying how Brook Trout adapt to changing environments.
In my current role, I am a molecular ecologist and that seeks to understand how sources of adaptive variation influence the capacity of populations to respond to environmental change. My research addresses the role of genetic variation in local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity and examines how these mechanisms influence natural populations. Using coldwater fishes as model organisms, I explore the underlying genetic variation that gives rise to adaptive phenotypes to better understand genotype-to-phenotype linkages in species of conservation concern. My research employs a combination of and laboratory and field experiments, as well as a variety of molecular tools to answer these questions with the ultimate goal of improving conservation of native biodiversity.
Outside of work I like to spend my time reconnecting with myself, my friends and family, and the natural world. Some of my favorite outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, and gardening. When I’m not outside I enjoy cooking, reading, and hanging out with my (indoor) cats, Finnley and Dexter.