I grew up near beautiful, ancient Lake Ohrid, in North Macedonia, which shaped my interest in the evolution of diatoms in geologically old and isolated aquatic systems. My graduate studies revolved around ancient lakes, including the diatom record of lakes Ohrid and Prespa from Marine Interval Stage 5b to the present, and the African rift lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. I am particularly interested in diatoms in the genus Diploneis and I follow them around the world, including North America. I attended the course at Iowa Lakeside Lab, both as a student and on the Kingston Teaching Fellowship. I also worked in the INSTAAR Diatom Lab, University of Colorado, on a Fulbright Fellowship.