I joined the Foley Lab in Fall 2013 as a Ph.D. student in the graduate group in comparative pathology. I’m interested in the effects of anthropogenic change on infectious disease transmission. Specifically, I’m planning to study tick-borne pathogens in relation to forestry, fire and development. I’m fascinated by ecological cascades that highlight the complexity and magnificence of the natural world.
I earned my B.S. in biological sciences and physics from the University of Connecticut. As an undergraduate, I spent three years in functional plant ecology research in tropical second-growth forests. I was fortunate to spend two field summers at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica measuring tree traits. The study sites are part of a long-term and multi-national tropical forest-monitoring program, NeoSelvas. My major findings underscored the importance and nuances of wood density measurement for estimating biomass of tropical forests.
After graduation, I moved to Philadelphia where I started as a middle school science teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. I concurrently earned my M.Ed. in science education from Arcadia University. After three years of teaching, I returned to research with the ultimate goal of an academic career to pursue my passions for teaching and scientific inquiry.