I am an organismal biologist who integrates plant physiology, phylogenetics, ecology, and evolutionary genetics to understand plant evolution and adaptations to life on land. In particular, I focus on three areas: (I) the mechanisms of stress tolerance, (II) the processes that generate and maintain diversity of life history and sexual systems, and (III) the evolutionary history of adaptation to extreme environments. I am fascinated by the very small: those organisms that are easily overlooked. I am also excited by extremophiles: those that can thrive in conditions thought to be difficult for life itself. These interests come together in studying mosses. These small plants have found a way to only truly “live” when conditions are right (that is, when water is present), drying and going quiescent when water is absent. My research to date has focused on the moss genus Syntrichia, whose species are key primary producers in biological soil crusts (biocrusts), complex communities of bryophytes, lichens, and other microorganisms living on the soil surface of drylands.
Ph.D. in Integrative Biology, 2020
University of California, Berkeley
M.S. in Environmental Science, Biology Option, 2015
California State University, Los Angeles
B.S. in Biology, Chemistry Minor, 2012
Purdue University, Indianapolis
B.A. in Religious Studies, 2012
Indiana University, Indianapolis
I traveled to Anchorage, Alaska for BOTANY 2022.
I traveled to D.C. for the Smithsonian Botanical Symposium and to work in-person with Rebecca and the Data Science Lab.