About Me

"The phrase 'domestic cat' is an oxymoron."
-George F. Will

Research Interests

My research focuses on how bee communities, and their pollination potential, vary across an urban landscape. Specifically, I am interested in the ecological differences that exist between food deserts (areas with limited or no access to fresh produce) and non-food deserts. Considering food deserts are often located in low-income neighborhoods, they potentially contain a higher proportion of impervious surface and bare soil than other areas. As neighborhoods establish urban farms and gardens to combat food deserts, understanding bee communities, and their respective pollination potential, may help determine where crop rearing will be the most productive. I also hope to survey local students in order to ascertain how bees are perceived and understood by urban youth. Ultimately, the survey findings and food desert research may be useful for the development of a pollinator-based education curriculum for urban students, which can possibly help increase conservation of pollinators, and thus pollination in cities.

Outside Interests

Cats. Batman. Chocolate shakes. Vampires. Trees. Dogs. Squirrels! Grilled cheese sandwiches. Werewolves. Recycling. Martinis. Bees. Star Wars. Mysteries. Walking.   

Not necessarily in that order.



University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014
M.S. – Ecology and Evolution

University of Illinois at Chicago, 2014
M.Ed. – Secondary

Cornell University
, 2009
B.S. – Animal Science
Concentrations: Natural Resources & Spanish

Teaching Experience

University of Illinois at Chicago
, Department of Biological Sciences
Teaching assistant, Biology of Populations and Communities, 2011-Present
• Assist students in weekly assignments, including set-up and preparation of laboratory experiments
• Responsible for grading assignments and reports

Shedd Aquarium, Department of Education
Volunteer, Student Programs, 2009-Present
• Organize and guide school groups throughout Shedd, acting as an educational resource for teachers and students
• Assist with written activities and learning lab programs, including animal dissections

National Geographic Student Expeditions, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands
Trip Leader, Wildlife & Conservation, 2009-2011
• Led 3-week expeditions of high school students throughout Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands
• Designed and implemented a curriculum covering ten major topics related to local wildlife species and conservation methods for the On Assignment: Wildlife & Conservation program
• Developed unique interactive assignments intended to reinforce lecture material and advised students regarding their final group projects

Fenwick High School, Summer Session
Teaching Assistant, Biology, Summer 2010
• Assisted with the instruction of students participating in an accelerated biology course
• Developed material for daily review sessions, including independent assignments and collaborative activities
• Organized and delivered lectures on selected material, including the theory of evolution 

Research Experience

Cornell University
, College of Veterinary Medicine
Research Assistant, 2009
• Analyzed hippopotami population fluctuations of the Luangwa River in Zambia, Africa based on over 500 photographs from an aerial survey
• Determined the ecological ramifications, including habitat transformation, of hippopotami crowding