I’m currently a postdoc working on a collaborative project that examines the effects of predator diversity on ecosystem function. While I’m based at East Carolina university in Mike McCoy‘s lab, I work with Ben Bolker (at McMaster University), James Vonesh (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Jeremy Wojdak (Radford University).
I began my PhD at the University of Florida, and moved to the University of Georgia with one of my advisors, Craig Osenberg in August, 2014. I was co-advised by Craig Osenberg (UGA-Ecology) and Scott McKinley (Tulane-Mathematics), and am interested in using ecological, mathematical, and statistical tools to answer questions about how patterns emerge in ecological systems, especially between organisms and their biogenic habitat, as well as predict how changes in predator assemblage affect prey dynamics.
I grew up in Carbondale, Illinois, and completed my BA in Marine Biology/Applied Mathematics at New College of Florida. While at New College, I completed a variety of independent study projects and tutorials that allowed me to explore my interests in both math and ecology. I also worked for the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast, Inc, facilitating a mentoring program for at-risk middle school girls and leading canoeing, kayaking, and ropes course activities for troops on the weekends. As a result, I’m not only interested in integrating mathematics and ecology within my work, but also working with youth outreach programs and mentoring undergraduate researchers. So far, I’ve supervised two honors theses, one senior project, and many other students as lab and field assistants at both UF and UGA, as well as a team of undergraduates during my postdoc work. I’ve also continued to spend time mentoring middle school students and teaching special science lessons at elementary and middle schools.
While at the University of Florida, I completed coursework in math, stats, and biology, and conducted fieldwork in Moorea, French Polynesia. I was also an IGERT QSE3 fellow, and worked with my cohort to model the possibilities of Rift Valley Fever introduction in Florida and sampling strategies for early disease detection. After my 4th year, I transferred to the Odum School of Ecology with my advisor, and added projects involving consumer distributions in salt marshes, metrics for coral growth, vermetid gastropods, and bias in meta-analysis metrics.