I am currently carrying out a PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Field Museum of Natural History as a member of the Mason-Gamer LabI am really interested in global patterns of plant diversity and the drivers of those patterns, as well as the approaches we use to understand the origins of crops. My PhD research utilizes genetic methods to classify species diversity and understand evolutionary history of the Coca family (Erythroxylaceae).
My interests in botany and evolutionary biology have arisen from lifelong exploration of wilderness and fascination with the the diversity of plants (particularly in the tropics). I have conducted botanical research in many regions of the western hemisphere including Denali National Park and Preserve, the western slope of Colorado, and the upper Amazon and Orinoco river basins.

In May 2011, I received a B. S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Botany from Colorado State University.