Vertebrate Paleontology & Natural History

    I am the Meeker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. I finished my PhD in Biology at the Department of Biology and Burke Museum of the University of Washington in 2016. My research focuses on the ecology of land-living vertebrate animal communities from the Permian and Triassic, and the recovery of communities during the first few million years of the Triassic Period after the end-Permian mass extinction some 252,000,000 years ago. Among those animals are the earliest known relatives of the dinosaurs, and they form an important facet of my research. My work has allowed me to embark on some fantastical expeditions around the world to Africa, Antarctica, and throughout the USA.
    In 2015 I had the pleasure of publishing the first account of a non-avian dinosaur from Washington state, welcoming the evergreen state as the 37th member of the dinosaur club! Here's my NPR interview.

    Besides my academic work I spend my time doing public outreach through the Burke Museum (especially with the DIG Field School), guest lectures, school visits, and the Young Naturalists' Society of the Pacific Northwest.

    I am a born-and-raised Michigander and have been fascinated with the natural world all my life. As a child I loved the outdoors, and my dinosaurs, and it was when I was in middle school when I first began to understand the explanatory power of evolution. 

    "You mean evolution connects the dinosaurs in my books with the woods in my yard?!" I've never looked back.

Contact Info
Integrative Research Center
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Preparing the skull of a new species of therapsid (mammal relative) from the Permian (~256,000,000 years old) of Zambia at the Burke Museum.