I grew up in the small town of Prairie du Sac, WI, and proceeded to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for college where I received a degree in Zoology, with certificates inEnvironmental Studies and African Studies. For as long as I can remember, I have asked the “why and how” questions about nature’s workings, cuddled any critter that will allow me to do so, and spent as much time as possible in the outdoors, the wilder the better. My love and fascination for nature developed into a career path aimed at preserving it. I furthered my global understanding of environmental issues and implications by backpacking internationally for a year and half, and have now brought back that perspective to life in the United States.
I began my involvement with the Townsend lab in 2012, where I conducted field research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of Wyoming. During that field season, I collected forestry data on pine tree species, while sampling for the bark beetles that use and kill these trees during their life cycle. This project is affiliated with the effects of climate change, as these bark beetles are now moving to higher elevations, where previously, tree species did not need a defense against them. I am back on board with the Townsend Lab for the 2014 field season in the Rocky Mountains to continue researching the relationship between the bark beetle and pine species and more specifically, patterns in the genetic differences and chemical defenses that may better defend the trees from attack.
In addition to my awesome role as a hiker and camper of the wilderness for seasonal research, I teach yoga, and am preparing to apply to graduate school for a furthered degree in the ecology realm. When not working, I can typically be found in a yoga studio, out for a jog, wild crafting, or in the kitchen cooking up something to dazzle the taste buds.