Making of an Evolutionary Developmental Mycologist
In the spring of 2022, I defended my dissertation titled The Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Mucoromycotina, advised by Jason E. Stajich in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of California, Riverside. For the 2022-23 academic year, I am serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA.
Although my PhD is in microbiology, my research interests span the fields of evolutionary biology, developmental biology, genomics/transcriptomics, and mycology. I am especially interested in working with emerging model organisms such as the mucoromycetes, chytrid fungi, and freshwater sponges to answer questions about the evolution of cell type diversity, functional specialization, and multicellularity. While working on my PhD, I pursued additional training in university-level pedagogy and received the University Teaching Certification from UC Riverside in 2020.
Prior to my PhD work, I was an assistant coordinator for Biology Basecamp, a participatory lab space within the Expedition Health exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. In this role, I developed skills in informal education and science communication while interacting with diverse audiences. This experience helped develop my passion for science communication and outreach, and ultimately helped me secure the Global Food Initiative Fellowship during the 2020-21 academic year. As a GFI fellow, I worked with the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources division in the News and Outreach in Spanish office.
I earned my Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology (‘15) at the University of Denver, working the lab of Scott A. Nichols. I also obtained my Bachelor of Science (‘13) at the University of Denver. As an undergrad, I majored in molecular biology with minors in chemistry and math.
Hobbies: figure skating, clarinet, aquascaping, and fish-keeping