Climate change, nutrient pollution, and the over exploitation of resources are altering the world at an alarming rate. The overarching goal of my research is to further our understanding of the consequences of global change by merging principles from physiological and community ecology to understand how organisms respond to a changing world. I utilize a combinations of hypothesis-driven field and lab-based studies along with meta-analytical syntheses to explore how organisms are impacted by environmental change and the cascading consequences for ecological communities. Ultimately, my goal is to advance our understanding of the feedback between organisms and their environment at multiple scales and enhance our ability to predict and manage the effects of global change.
I obtained my Bachelors degree in Anthropology with a minor in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After becoming interested in ecology I completed a MS in Marine Biology through Northeastern University, where I studied the impact of coral-eating fishes on reefs. I conducted my PhD at Florida International University with Dr. Deron Burkepile where my research focused on disentangling the effects of coastal nutrient loading on coral reef communities. At the organismal level, my research explored the impacts of nutrients on corals and algae, while scaling upwards to investigate the responses of consumers and the effects on community structure. After finishing my PhD, I took an appointment as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I joined the Moorea Long Term Ecological Research Program to continue pursuing questions regarding the impact of nutrients on coral health and resilience, with an emphasis on how nutrients influence coral bleaching and recovery. Currently I am working as a Research Fellow in the Eberly College of Sciences at Penn State University with Drs. Iliana Baums, Todd LaJeunesse, Monica Medina, and Roberto Iglesias-Prieto.
When I manage to get away from work there is nothing I enjoy more than grabbing a backpack and exploring new places. If I'm not at work but don't have the time to hit the road, you can probably find me playing on the water, hiking, climbing, or out cheering on my hometown DC sports teams.