I conducted my Ph.D. research in Karen Warkentin’s lab at Boston University. I study the mechanisms of environmentally cued hatching in frogs.
I originally started college as a musical theater major, but after an interdisciplinary course in human evolution, I was hooked on biology! I started on my path toward science with an internship in the penguin exhibit at the New England Aquarium, which solidified my desire to become a biologist. I transferred to Siena College, where I embarked on my biology major and did research with Prof. Douglas Fraser. I did lab and field work in behavioral ecology of the killifish, Rivulus hartii which coexists with guppies in the mountain streams of Trinidad. I finished my B.S. in 2006 and won the Major Field Award in Biology.
I went on to study science education at Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining a Master of the Arts in Teaching New York State teaching certification in 2007. After three years as a middle- and high-school science teacher, I decided to return to academia to be involved in active research and be a part of higher education.
Since starting my doctoral studies at Boston University, I have spent 6 field seasons at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama studying environmentally cued hatching in frogs. I study how frogs are able to hatch early to escape threats. I use a variety of techniques (in situ hybridization, electron microscopy, qPCR, histology, videography) to study the developmental, physiological, and behavioral mechanisms of hatching and how they are regulated.
Also at Boston University, I have served as a teaching fellow for Introductory Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, Evolution, and Herpetology. I have also worked with in-service secondary science teachers to develop lesson plans and outreach materials based on Warkentin Lab research. For my commitment to teaching I was recognized with the Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award in Biology in 2015.