I am currently a faculty member at Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland. I serve as an Assistant Professor of Biology and the Director of the Center for Environmental Sustainability. Here at Stevenson, I teach Evolution and Phylogenetics, Conservation Biology (Service-Learning), Environmental Science, Marine Biology and lab, General Biology I lab (Cell and Molecular Biology), General Biology III lab (Ecology and Evolution), and the School of the Sciences New Student Seminar. I also am currently doing environmental microbial diversity and evolution research with undergraduate students.
I am passionate about education and public outreach and previously served as the Director of STEM Initiatives at Stevenson. It is our duty as scientists to inform the public about natural phenomena, as well as the consequences of certain actions on the environment. I enjoy working with people of all age groups, from elementary school children to adults. As part of my position at Stevenson, I have been working on various outreach projects for K-12 students, as well as the adult community. Stevenson students are invited to participate in these projects as part of their education. I am also serving as a member of the steering committee for the first Maryland STEM Festival, which will take place in November 2015! This statewide festival aims to bring fun and accessible STEM activities to all residents throughout the state of Maryland.
From 2010-2012, I worked as an Assistant Professor of Biology at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA. I taught Introductory Biology I and the associated lab, Genetics and lab, Marine Biology and lab, and Conservation Biology. I was also the Director of the Coastal Georgia Regional Science & Engineering Fair for the two years that I worked there.
My postdoctoral fellowship was at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science from 2007-2010 in the laboratory of Dr. Mya Breitbart. My research at USF focused on viral metagenomics in various environmental systems. My main project was in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley studying the viruses associated with an Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) system in Iron Mountain, CA. However, I also studied biogeography and diversity of ssDNA phages in the Sargasso sea in collaboration with other members of my lab group, as well as the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS).
My doctoral research at the University of Florida focused on the conservation/population genetics of Florida manatees in collaboration with the USGS Sirenia Project. I graduated from UF in 2007.
The aim of my current research is to use population genetics and genomics to study population dynamics and evolutionary questions in environmental microbiology. Conservation of natural areas and restoration is very important to me. By studying the organisms (large and small) that inhabit these areas, I hope to be able to contribute to conservation and protection of natural lands.