Just as Theodosius Dobzhansky said that, “Nothing makes sense except in light of evolution”, similarly nothing in evolution makes sense except in light of DNA. Understanding evolution starts with understanding the ways in which evolution manifests at the level of nucleotides, genes and genomes. As a scientist, I am interested in studying evolution using genomic tools. In particular, I am interested in the mechanisms that drive speciation and adaptation in plants, and investigating these through the lens of phylogenomics, comparative genomics, population genetics, and conservation genomics.
In 2016, I completed my Master’s degree in Plant Biology and Conservation at Northwestern University/The Chicago Botanic Garden with The Skogen Lab. My thesis project was focused on answering questions about the evolution of Oenothera sect. Calylophus, a historically confusing group of plants, using targeted enrichment (“hybseq”), extensive population sampling, and summary coalescent methods. More information about my research is available here. Currently, my co-authors and I are preparing this work for publication (expected october 2020), I am working on an updated treatment of Oenothera sect. Calylophus, and I am employed as a data analyst/ecologist with the National Park Service, Chihuahuan Desert Network. I use programs such as SQL, Python, R, and ArcGISpro to analyze a broad set of data related to long term monitoring of native and invasive plant populations in the Southwest United States using statistical approaches such as Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM’s). More information about my professional activities is available here.