PhD student; National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
I got my start in research at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Since UMW is a small liberal arts college with a strong biology program, I got the opportunity to work closely with my mentors there, learning first-hand laboratory and research skills. By the time I graduated, I was able to publish an honors thesis on methods to measure stress in wild bird populations based on two years of research with my advisors, Dr. Andrew Dolby and Dr. Deborah O'Dell.
I am now a PhD student in Dr. Mike Sears' lab at Clemson University where I work in the field of "thermal ecology," studying how changing temperatures affect the survival, growth, and reproduction of different organisms. For my PhD research, I am working with a North American species of lizard called the Eastern fence lizard to (1) examine how organisms at different life stages may respond to climate warming through changes in their physiology and behavior, and (2) estimate the potential for adaptation in response to climate change.