I became interested in microbial and disease ecology as an undergraduate student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After working for a few years as a research technician, I started graduate school at Virginia Tech where I studied amphibian skin microbial communities in relation to disease. Following my PhD, I taught at Roanoke College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology. From 2015 to 2017, I worked as a postdoc at Virginia Tech in both the Departments of Biological Sciences and Entomology, where I explored the microbiomes of amphibian skin and honey bee guts. In 2017, I began my lab at Eastern Washington University as an Assistant Professor. It is my hope that my research will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and that my teaching will inspire others to do the same. In addition to teaching and research, I also enjoy spreading the love of science with elementary-age children, and in particular, girls through educational outreach. When I'm not teaching or doing science, I love spending time with my family and dog, hiking and biking.
Scientist, microscope, petri dish, computer. Drawing by a participant in the Science Museum of Western Virginia's Girls Science Camp, June 2016.
2008 - 2014
Ph.D. in Biological Sciences
Dissertation: “The Structure and Function of Amphibian Skin Bacterial Communities and Their Role in Susceptibility to a Fungal Pathogen.”
Advisor: Dr. Lisa Belden
2002 - 2006
James Madison University
B.S. in Biology with Distinction
Honors thesis: “Symbiosis in Salamanders: The Role of Cutaneous Bacteria in Disease Prevention.” Advisor: Dr. Reid Harris