Originally from Ontario, Canada, I obtained my B. Sc. and M. Sc. in Canada and moved to the United States of America in 2015. I have been studying wildlife for over a decade and for the last 8 years have focused on using molecular techniques to understand population genetics.
I have worked for a variety of research groups including the Canadian Pollination Initiative (CanPolIN), The Canadian Center for DNA Barcoding (CCDB), the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database (WYNDD) and the Wildlife Genomics and Disease Ecology Lab. I have also worked with five post secondary institutions and within those have been affiliated with eight lab groups.
For a more traditional version of my CV please click here.
Where it began
While at the University of Guelph obtaining my B. Sc. in Zoology, I had the opportunity to take a summer field course in entomology with professors Gard Otis and Stephen Marshall. During this field course we spent two weeks in Arizona where we hiked across various terrain to observe and collect insects to create our own collection. This was probably my first experience of hiking and doing actual research in the field and I fell in love with it.
That same summer, I returned to Guelph to begin my honors thesis with Dr. Andrew McDougall where myself and now Dr. Rachel Germain studied the effects of small mammal predation on plant community assembly. This research led to my first publication and a great appreciation and understanding for designing research projects and completing all aspects of a project including experimental design, field work, data collection, data analysis and scientific writing.
Following my B. Sc. I had the pleasure of conducting my M. Sc. at Saint Mary’s University, under the supervision of Drs. Hugh Broders and Tim Fraiser. My thesis focused on understanding the population structure for the northern long-eared bat across mainland Atlantic Canada, and delineating the movement patters between seasonal sites. During my graduate degree I had the opportunities to present my research at the North American Society for Bat Research (2012) and the International Bat Conference (2013)
Following my graduate studies, I was fortunate to continue conducting bat research with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database (WYNDD) in 2015. During this time I was able to travel throughout the state of Wyoming to capture, ID and assess bats. While I haven’t worked on bats since, I still have an extraordinary passion for bat research and would love to get back into it if given the opportunity.
After working for WYNDD I was offered a research assistant job with Dr. Edward Vargo at Texas A&M University. My position was to run the molecular laboratory, which was most commonly used to obtain genetic profiles of various urban pest insects such as invasive termites and ants. I quickly became in charge of maintaining the lab and was eventually promoted to Research Associate/Lab Manager. I had the privilege of mentoring a number of graduate, undergraduate and visiting students in molecular research and had the opportunity to expand my molecular experience into next generation genomics and bioinformatics research.