I am a postdoctoral researcher in Rob Knight's lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At the core of my research is the use of ancient DNA methods to directly sample genes from the past to answer questions in ecology, evolution, conservation, forensics and history. Whether from historic times or the late Pleistocene, DNA preserved in bone, teeth, hair, tissue, coprolites, plant material and soil can solve mysteries about the past. Working at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) with an excellent team of ancient DNA scientists, I became proficient with the rigorous techniques required to collect ancient DNA samples in the field and process them in the laboratory. These methods have led me to work on a diversity of projects from using 19th century museum specimens to reconstruct historic diversity of trout to redefining the taxonomy and extinction dates of megafauna from the late Pleistocene to my current work in which I am analyzing microbial DNA from well-preserved fecal material of humans to understand our ancestral gut microbiome.