I just moved to the University of Idaho to pursue my PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology with Scott Nuismer (coevolutionary theory) and Luke Harmon (phylogenetic comparative methods). I hope to help understand how species interactions affect diversification over macroevolutionary time by incorporating coevolutionary theory into phylogenetic models.
Prior to this, I completed my MS with Jamie R. Oaks (theoretical phylogenetics) at Auburn University, where I studied the diversification of venom allergen-like proteins in flatworms and my BS at the University of Florida with Gustav Paulay (molecular phylogenetics and systematics) assessing species limits in a morphologically diverse genus of sea cucumbers.
Native to Central Florida, I spent my childhood exploring the maze of intricate trails my brother carved through our woods and teasing alligators on the St John’s River. As the only of my siblings to graduate high school, I was proud to graduate from the University of Florida with highest honors and be recognized for my potential as a science leader by being awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Throughout my education, I witnessed first-hand how family income, academic opportunities, support, and expectations interact to define student outcomes. I discovered academic success depends, above all, on support and available opportunities. To this end, I am passionate about providing authentic and inclusive research experiences and academic support to nontraditional students and underrepresented populations in STEM.