(1) About Me

I am an evolutionary ecologist and a limnologist by training. My primary interests are in the reciprocal dynamics of ecology and evolution as well as the importance of individual differences in populations and communities. Previously I have worked on the impact of invasive species and changing water quality alongside management. Most of my research is focused on freshwater systems.

My focus for my Ph.D. dissertation research (in the lab of Carla Cáceres at the University of Illinois) was intraspecific variation (within species / within population differences) and how this variation can influence population/community/evolutionary dynamics and competitive outcomes. Results suggest that there is substantial intraspecific variation between and within Daphnia pulicaria populations. In future studies, I aim to use my current framework to understand instraspecific variation in invasive Daphnia species and better elucidate competitive differences between native and invasive species.

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Field collection of seston for feeding experiments.

As an undergrad at Lawrence University, I worked with Professor Bart De Stasio on several projects including (1) comparative limnological studies on Wisconsin lakes, (2) Aquatic Invasive Species monitoring of the Fox River, (3) coral reef surveys in the Caribbean, and (4) environmental quality changes due to management after the implementation of the Clean Water Act. This last opportunity allowed me to pair my interests in biology and government and culminated in my thesis on the improvement in water quality in the Lower Fox River over 40 years.

Outside of work, I read a lot, rarely without at least a couple of books stacked around my desk at home and at work. These books include biographies and histories of science and environmental issues, history and historical fiction, a few favorite fiction writers, philosophy, politics, and international relations. I have a particular interest in how teams and leaders are most effective. I like being in the outdoors and enjoy hiking/rucking, biking, canoeing (whitewater and flatwater), and rock climbing (bouldering and sport).

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