About me

In Fall 2015 I joined the OU Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Ph.D program, advised by Dr. Michael Patten. I advanced to candidacy in Fall 2017 and successfully defended my Ph.D in Fall 2020. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in Spring 2015 with a B.S. in Biology, summa cum laude. As an undergraduate, I became interested in cooperative interactions and determinants of species distributions and abundances, which led to research and work experiences involving Great Barrier Reef dinoflagellates and invertebrates, Panamanian rainforests, New Mexican endangered species and forest-dwelling arthropods, and a Colorado grass-endophyte association. Currently my research interests include 1) trade-offs and spatial variation in insects’ physical (e.g. temperature and moisture) and chemical (e.g. plant toxin) tolerances, 2) evolution and plasticity of intraspecific and interspecific cooperative interactions and 3) science education, particularly constructivist and inquiry-based learning in elementary students. My dissertation work features a defoliating moth species called Hyphantria cunea (Fall Webworm), which exhibits intraspecific cooperation and is native and abundant throughout the United States.

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