I attended the University of Florida and obtained a BSc in Microbiology in 2010. I then went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and in 2016 I defended my Ph.D., entitled "Ecology and Epizootiology of Montipora White Syndrome, a tissue loss disease of the Hawaiian coral, Montipora capitata". I started my first postdoctoral position in the lab of Dr. Colleen Burge at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, conducting research at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in downtown Baltimore. In 2018, I started my second postdoctoral position as a Fellow at the Rice Academy.
As a Rice Academy Fellow, under the mentorship of Dr. Adrienne Correa (Dept. BioSciences) and Dr. Lauren Stadler (Dept. Civil and Environmental Engineering), my research investigates the consequences of storm-generated floodwaters on the health of coral reef ecosystems. Specifically, I will study how different components of storm-generated floodwaters alter the microbiome and the immune response of corals at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, one of the few remaining coral-dominated reef ecosystems in the Greater Caribbean. Understanding coral-microbe interactions during floodwater stress will help predict how coral reef ecosystems will acclimate to future severe storm events.
My goals as a scientist are to help provide meaningful solutions to today's environmental challenges and to help train the next generation of scientists. With its focus on undergraduate education as well as inter-disciplinary collaboration, Rice University and the Rice Academy of Fellows are providing the solid foundation I need to continue building toward these goals.
My true passion is the ocean. Besides being an avid SCUBA diver, I enjoy dancing ballet, learning new board games, and improving my photography skills.