Academic Ontogeny

I attended the University of Northern Iowa where I received bachelors degrees in chemistry and biology. I began my scientific career by participating in an NSF REU where I discovered conditions necessary to create highly aligned DNA nanofibers through controlled evaporative self assembly. Following graduation from UNI, I enrolled at Iowa State University to pursue further interests in population dynamics, genetics, and conservation biology, ultimately with the goal of studying forest trees. The following summer (2011) I was hired to work a seasonal position at Teakettle Experimental Forest through the research groups of Matthew Hurteau (Univ. New Mexico) and Malcolm North (UC Davis, USFS).

In early 2012 I was accepted into the Integrative Life Sciences Ph.D. program at Virginia Commonwealth University. I defended my PhD dissertation advised under Andrew Eckert in his Plant Evolutionary Genomics Laboratory at VCU in 2018. Shortly after, I moved to Vancouver, BC Canada to work with Sally Aitken, Sam Yeaman, and Richard Hamelin on the CoAdapTree project. In January 2022 I started working with Katie Lotterhos to develop machine learning algorithms to detect adaptive signals from genomic data, and to develop additional machine learning algorithms to use such data to predict population performance and vulnerability under novel climate scenarios. Please see my research page to learn more about my interests and to view past and current projects.