I am an UNVEIL postdoc at the University of Montana, working in the lab of Lila Fishman. I am fascinated by how genes and genomes evolve, both on timescales that we can observe in real time and over longer evolutionary time.
AS A SCIENTIST...
I aim to understand the genomics of evolution by natural selection. How much of the genome is involved in adaptation? What is the prevalence of standing genetic variation? How is it distributed across the genome? And how does natural selection interact with other processes (e.g. migration and recombination) to shape genomic variation among individuals and across geography?
I address these questions in natural systems, studying both vertebrate animals and flowering plants. During my graduate work, I studied Alaskan populations of the threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) with Bill Cresko at the University of Oregon. I used next-generation sequencing of both wild populations and lab-reared mapping families to understand the evolution of adaptive genomic variation, how it is organized within genomes and among individuals and how it is maintained in the stickleback metapopulation.
Currently a postdoc with Lila Fishman at the University of Montana, I am studying selection, adaptation, and chromosomal evolution in Mimulus monkeyflowers. At Yellowstone National Park, we study the genetics of adaptation across small geographic distances and steep environmental gradients using populations of Mimulus guttatus. I also dabble in structural variation and chromosomal evolution in M. guttatus, M. lewisii, and M. cardinalis.
AS AN EDUCATOR...
I have a passion for the liberal arts. As a graduate of Kalamazoo College, my education is rooted in the liberal arts and I have learned, at times begrudgingly, the value to a scientist of studying the arts, the humanities, and language. Science, like all disciplines, is a human enterprise; we search for fact in the context of the society, history, and culture in which we find ourselves. My mentoring and teaching reflect this. I want to encourage independence, curiosity, creativity, and exploration.