After obtaining my undergraduate degree from Boston University in 2006 (B.A. Biology, specialization in ecology & conservation biology), I went on to veterinary school at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (class of 2010). I spent 6 months volunteering as a veterinarian in Central America before accepting a position as a small animal veterinarian in Queensland, Australia. While working near the Great Barrier Reef I volunteered with a local sea turtle rehabilitation organization, which increased my interests in coastal environments and wildlife conservation ecology. I decided to pursue a PhD in research focusing on wildlife disease ecology, giving me the opportunity to contribute to research on pathogens that affect both wildlife and human health. I joined the James Lloyd-Smith lab at UCLA, a dedicated group of people researching the ecology of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed between humans and animals, including my bacteria of interest leptospirosis). I am now utilizing my background in ecology and veterinary medicine to conduct disease surveillance mammals along the California coast. I am finishing my PhD in the Lloyd-Smith lab this June, after which I am starting a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship, working on this project with the La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science to better understand anthropogenic impacts on local coyote health. These surveys are a critical step in identifying the prevalence of diseases in different mammal populations and understanding factors that impact diseases in wildlife, and results will directly inform wildlife, veterinary and public health agencies in California. I'm extremely grateful to be working on such an exciting project with an amazing team of collaborators and fantastic undergraduate students (the future doctors and scientists of the world) as we continue to learn more about local wildlife populations.